Alberta passes bill to restrict the flow of oil and gas to BC, escalating trade war - Canadanewsmedia
Connect with us

Business

Alberta passes bill to restrict the flow of oil and gas to BC, escalating trade war

Published

on


EDMONTON — Alberta’s New Democratic Party government passed a bill Wednesday that it says will give the province new powers to restrict the flow of energy resources to British Columbia.

Bill 12 — the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act — authorizes the government to issue licences for any company exporting energy products from Alberta. The province can use this as a tool to identify companies shipping products to British Columbia, including natural gas, crude oil and refined fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

“Make no mistake,” Notley said during the bill’s third reading in the legislature. “We will not hesitate to use that power.”

The move comes in the midst of an ongoing fight between Alberta and British Columbia over the fate of the $7.4-billion Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline extension project.

On Wednesday, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau, said the federal government will financially backstop Trans Mountain, and says if Kinder Morgan walks away, other potential partners may step up.

Notley, who has also said her province would invest in the project to make sure it gets completed, lauded Morneau’s announcement.

“We’re engaged in the conversations that are going on between Kinder Morgan and the federal government, and when there’s more detail that is in everyone’s best interest to disclose, then we’ll do that then.”

Notley refused to outline a timeline for when the legislation kicks in, saying it could take anywhere between 24 hours to a few weeks.

B.C. Premier John Horgan has said his government is exploring legal options to stall the project over concerns he says it poses to the province’s coastline. Alberta, for its part, says the pipeline is critical infrastructure to get its oil to tidewater.

Kinder Morgan received federal approval in 2016 to build the line to get more Alberta oil to tankers on the B.C. coast, but says construction delays by the B.C. government have put the financial feasibility of the project at risk.

The war of words between the two provinces escalated Wednesday, as the B.C. government warned it would legally challenge Bill 12 — if passed — in Alberta courts.

StarMetro obtained a letter penned by B.C. Attorney-General David Eby on Wednesday to his Alberta counterpart, warning that the legislation is “beyond the powers of the Alberta Legislature” and would be a clear violation of Canada’s constitution.

“This attempt to restrict the flow of refined fuels, crude oil and natural gas across the Alberta-B. C. border is intended to punish the residents of B.C.,” reads the letter addressed to Alberta justice minister Kathleen Ganley and verified as authentic.

Citing B.C.’s own request last month for its Court of Appeal to rule on whether regulating the Kinder Morgan pipeline on environmental grounds is constitutionally allowed, Eby argued, “The Constitution of Canada prevents any province from attempting to resolve a legal dispute by inflicting economic harm through trade sanctions. Bill 12 is manifestly unconstitutional.”

Eby said unless Alberta asks a court to weigh in on the legislation’s legality, B.C. will launch its own lawsuit in an Alberta courtroom to do it for them.

Alberta Justice and Solicitor General could not be reached for comment by press time.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh chimed in on the debate Wednesday by voicing his opposition to the project.

“It’s clear this pipeline should not be built,” he wrote on Twitter, noting the federal government is giving Kinder Morgan a “blank cheque while dumping the risks on all Canadians.”

Notley said her government disagrees “quite fundamentally” with Singh, adding the province is committed to both protecting the environment and jobs.

Kinder Morgan has already scaled back construction and says it wants assurances by May 31 that the project, which would triple the line’s capacity, is viable.

With files from David P. Ball and The Canadian Press

Ameya Charnalia is a general assignment reporter based in Edmonton. Reach him via email: Ameya.charnalia@metronews.ca

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

OPEC threatens to turn on the spigots as oil price briefly hits highest point since 2014

Published

on

By


The price of the North American oil benchmark briefly touched $72 US a barrel late Tuesday despite the OPEC oil cartel publicly mulling boosting supply as soon as next month.

The price of West Texas Intermediate, the North American oil benchmark commonly known as WTI, was changing hands as high as $72.83 at one point on Tuesday. Although it slumped slightly lower on Wednesday, that was the highest level since November 2014.

Supply concerns in Venezuela and Iran have been overhanging the market for months, driving prices higher. 

Then late Tuesday the oil-producing cartel known as OPEC suggested it may soon turn on the spigots a little, after curbing its supply for the better part of the past year to boost prices.

The notoriously fractious cartel has been uncharacteristically collaborative of late, as OPEC and Russia had agreed to curb their collective output by about 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of 2018.

Last month, the cartel reported 166 per cent compliance to its own cut targets — meaning it has been pumping even less oil than it had planned to.

But speaking to a Reuters reporter on Tuesday, one unnamed OPEC source said the group is considering lifting those limits sooner than anticipated, in part because of the rising price of oil. 

While WTI was briefly at $72 US, Canadian oil companies have also seen their prices rise. The blend of oil from Alberta's oilsands is known as Western Canada Select and it, too, has risen to a more than three-year high, almost touching $58 U.S. on Tuesday.

Higher oil prices are doubly helpful for Canadian producers, because they are priced in U.S. dollars, while Canadian companies book most of their expenses in Canadian dollars.

In Canadian terms, WTI is currently trading as high as $91 a barrel, Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter noted on Tuesday.

"That's up 50 per cent  from just eight months ago."

In Canadian dollar terms, the price of WTI is now where it was, on average, during what Porter called the "go-go years for oil prices," between 2007 and 2014.

"The lack of a currency response means that Canadian consumers are feeling the full impact of higher oil prices," he said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Comcast prepares to top Disney's $50-billion offer for Fox

Published

on

By


Comcast Corp confirmed for the first time on Wednesday it was preparing a higher, all-cash offer for the businesses that Twenty-First Century Fox has agreed to sell to Walt Disney Co.

While the U.S. cable operator said it was still considering its position, it said it was in advanced stages of readying an offer that would be “superior” and “at a premium” to Disney’s all stock offer.

“While no final decision has been made, at this point the work to finance the all-cash offer and make the key regulatory filings is well advanced,” Comcast said.

Story continues below advertisement

Sources familiar with the deal told Reuters at the start of May that Comcast was preparing bridge financing for a cash offer for the Fox assets, but Wednesday’s statement is the first formal confirmation by the company it is ready to move.

The same sources said Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts will only proceed with a bid if a federal judge next month allows AT&T Inc’s planned $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc to proceed.

Disney in December offered stock then worth $52.4 billion to buy Fox’s film, television and international businesses as it bids to beef up its offering against streaming rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc.

Disney shares have fallen nearly 3.3 percent since, reducing the value of the offer to just over $50 billion.

“It all depends on the AT&T and Time Warner deal,” said Brian Weiser, analyst at Pivotal Research. “If that goes through it is highly possible there will more than one bid for Fox.”

Fox and Disney were not immediately available for comment.

Comcast, owner of NBC and Universal Pictures, has also made a 22 billion pound ($30 billion) offer to acquire the 61 percent stake in European pay-TV group Sky Plc that Fox does not already own. In doing so, it topped an earlier offer for the entirety of Sky by Fox.

Story continues below advertisement

Story continues below advertisement

A regulatory filing in April showed Comcast offered to acquire most of Fox’s assets in an all-stock deal valued at $34.41 per share, or $64 billion last November – just before Disney’s offer was agreed.

After a sale, Fox’s remaining assets will include Fox News, Fox Business Network and sports cable networks.

Comcast shares were down 2 percent at $31.83 while Disney was down 0.7 percent at $103.26 in premarket trading.

“I think Fox, or its controlling shareholder and Board of Directors, has already expressed their preference – Disney, even though Comcast allegedly offered a higher consideration already,” said Jeffrey Logsdon, an analyst with JBL Advisors in California.

“Comcast does seem intent on winning this one (and) rivalry can frequently drive prices to un-economic levels.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Comcast v. Disney: a fight for Twenty-First Century Fox

Published

on

By


PHILADELPHIA — Comcast may make an offer for Twenty-First Century Fox, potentially putting it in a head-to-head bidding war with Disney.

Comcast Corp. on Wednesday did not provide specific details on a bid, other than to say that it would be all cash and at a premium to the value of Disney’s current all-stock offer.

The Wall Street Journal and others reported earlier this month that Comcast had $60 billion to challenge Disney.

Disney’s $52.4 billion bid would go a long way in allowing it to better compete with technology companies in the entertainment business. Any tie-up would put in its stable more Marvel superheros, as well as the studios that produced the Avatar movies, “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.” Disney would control Fox’s cable and international TV businesses as well.

Comcast said Wednesday that it’s in the “advanced stages” of preparing its bid. The Philadelphia company said the structure and terms of its offer would be at least as favourable as Disney’s.

A potential transaction with either Disney or Comcast would not include the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company and certain other assets.

Comcast’s stock fell 2 per cent in premarket trading, while shares of the Walt Disney Co., based in Burbank, California, dipped slightly.

CIBC has scaled back its rapid expansion of Canadian home loans, bringing it more in line with the industry
Research firm Reputation Institute says Tim Hortons has fallen to 67th from 13th place in one of the largest moves down of all 250 companies it analyzed this year
Rally in forward prices is a lot more remarkable than spot prices
‘More and more Canadians are receiving their news and information via social networks. It is important to connect with Canadians on the channels they are using’

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Canada News Media

%d bloggers like this: