NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association call on the federal and provincial governments to support the expansion of pipeline infrastructure and expedite increased market access for Alberta’s oil and natural gas exports.
WHEREAS Alberta’s economy is driven by its ability to export products and services, and the transportation and logistics industry plays a critical role, supporting a variety of industries across the province;
WHEREAS Pipelines are the major transportation mode for Alberta products, with commodity prices producing export values up to $83 billion and representing approximately two-thirds of all shipments;
WHEREAS Alberta’s oil and natural gas industries require a secure and reliable pipeline infrastructure to ensure the effective movement of the province’s bitumen, crude oil and natural gas to both domestic and North American markets;
WHEREAS there are comprehensive regulatory and other oversight processes for federal and provincial pipeline approvals that require a robust environmental and human health assessment prior to approval;
WHEREAS the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association conducted an advocacy campaign in spring 2016 to profile the importance of the Energy East pipeline, which is under National Energy Board review with its report currently due to the federal Minister of Natural Resources by March 2018; and
WHEREAS there are opportunities to further expand the established pipeline infrastructure particularly to the U.S. Gulf Coast and the west coast, to eventually reach more of the overseas markets;
Canada, and Alberta in particular, has a wealth of energy resources but has limited access to foreign markets. Several pipeline projects have been proposed that would help bridge the gap between our supply and world demand. The projects are at varying stages in their respective approval processes.
The economic importance of improved market access cannot be overstated. For example, estimates made by the Conference Board of Canada on the Energy East pipeline state the project would support over 14,000 jobs annually during a nine-year development and construction stage, and an additional 3,300 each year in the first 20 years of operations. It would also provide $10 billion in tax revenues to the provinces.
The Minister of Energy expressed in a letter of November 2016 that the Government of Alberta is committed to diversifying markets for energy products and breaking Alberta's land-lock. It is taking steps to demonstrate commitment to responsible energy production and is exploring options to get energy products to tidewater while being mindful of environmental responsibilities.
Currently, AUMA has focused much of its market access work on the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. We will continue to purse advocacy efforts related to market access whenever possible.