​No need to turn off the taps for now in Trans Mountain fight: Alberta premier

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Image: Government of Alberta

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says she sees no immediate need to turn off the oil taps to British Columbia now that the federal government is taking over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notley says there is more certainty around the project than there has ever been and she doesn't plan to use her province's legislation to regulate the flow of oil exports for now.

“Because the crisis has passed, at least for now, I don't know that we're going to be looking to exercise this (legislation) in the very near future,” Notley said as beaming cabinet ministers stood behind her.

“We still have it. It remains something that we would consider using should it become something that's necessary for us to maximize our resources.”

The federal Liberal government announced Tuesday that it will spend $4.5 billion to buy Trans Mountain and all of Kinder Morgan Canada's core assets.

In return, Kinder Morgan will go ahead with its $7.4-billion plan to twin the pipeline carrying diluted bitumen from Alberta's oilsands to the B.C. coast and from there to overseas markets.

Once the sale is complete later this summer, Canada will continue construction on its own.

Alberta is making up to $2 billion available if needed to keep the project going, but Notley said it's “very possible” the province will never pay a cent of it.

She also said any money the province puts in will be converted to equity in the pipeline, so there should be no negative effect on Alberta's credit rating.

“We said we should get the pipeline built and we are getting it built. We will not stop until the job is done,” Notley said.

“Pick up those tools, folks. We have a pipeline to build.”

Notley said the pipeline will be under federal jurisdiction, which will limit how British Columbia laws can be applied to the project.

She suggested that could mean B.C.'s constitutional argument over that government's say in what moves through the province will have less relevance.

B.C. Premier John Horgan went to court with the intent of blocking the expansion, which he has said puts the province at an environmental risk should there be a spill.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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