The Trudeau Liberals call Bill C-48 the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act.

But it’s not a tanker ban at all. Rather, it’s a product blockade. And most of the blocked products are from Alberta.

“This bill is an attempt to further restrict the oilsands,” says Alberta Sen. Doug Black, who promises a major fight on second reading in the fall.

The Alberta NDP pitched in Wednesday with a written request to object at Senate hearings.

Black says: “Bill C-48 is a direct aim at the oilsands and at Alberta’s ability to refine products and ship them. Right to the heart!”

From the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Alaska, the bill would prohibit loading shipments of everything from diluted bitumen to oil and gas condensates.

You have to wonder why, if Ottawa is so keen on banning tankers, the bill didn’t just block ships from coming to port.

It doesn’t do that. Rather, it bans loading of a long list of common crude and refined products, many of which, like propane, could be shipped to Asia.

In her letter to the Senate, Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd wrote:

“Alberta continues to have serious concerns with this legislation’s treatment of persistent oils, such as partially upgraded bitumen, and particularly condensates.”

Ottawa has steadily added more products to the ban, citing spill concerns.

The province says this shotgun approach threatens billions in revenue and refining projects.

“Many stakeholders are supportive of shipping these products off B.C’s north coast,” says McCuaig-Boyd.

“It is also worth noting that tankers have been safely moving along Canada’s West Coast since the 1930s.”

Braid: Ottawa’s tanker ban favours B.C., chokes off Alberta

The Bill C-48 conflict has been muted since the federal Liberals introduced it last year. Nobody wanted a sideshow to deflect from the Kinder Morgan pipeline deal.

But it’s out in the open now, and what we have is another attack on Alberta’s right to ship and sell products.

In principle, this federal bill looks alarmingly like the B.C. government’s attempts to regulate the flow of bitumen within B.C.

Both would sharply limit or eliminate movement of Alberta oil through B.C. and off the coast.

The Alberta government has given up on persuading Ottawa to abandon the bill altogether.

Instead, McCuaig-Boyd argues for changing the definition of condensates, which she said is inaccurate and bans too many products.

(Her letter doesn’t mention another galling fact: under Bill C-48, B.C. is free to ship LNG from the north coast.)

Alberta elected Senator Doug Black visited Grande Prairie, Alta. …read more



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Braid: A federal tanker ban that doesn’t ban tankers. Just Alberta oil

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