The long-running and ever-bitter battle over the viability of Alberta’s oil and gas industry is once again heating up between the Jason Kenney and Justin Trudeau governments.
As the number 1 industrial contributor to Alberta’s coffers, the petroleum industry’s well-being is closely tied to the financial health of the province as a whole, and to the economy of many rural communities, including in this region.
Whether the fight between the Kenney UPC government at the provincial level and the Trudeau Liberals at the federal level will be settled before the next provincial election remains an open question.
What is known is that the newly released federal emissions plan to address climate change is driving the battle to new heights.
For his part, Jason Nixon, area UCP MLA and minister of Environment, says the Kenney government is committed to a fighting “tooth-and-nail” against what he calls an “insane climate plan”.
“Alberta will not accept an emissions plan that would destroy Alberta’s economy and make life more unaffordable for Albertans,” said Nixon. “Alberta’s government will not accept a plan that treads on the natural resource guarantees that former Premier Peter Lougheed fought hard to gain for the benefit of all Albertans.”
The federal plan calls for carbon emissions from the oil and gas industry to be reduced by more than 40 per cent by 2030.
“It is a very ambitious, but we feel realistic, projection to get to for the oil and gas sector,” said federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault. “The oil and gas industry is a sector that will need to de-carbonize, to lower their level of pollution because that is where the world is heading. The sector has to de-carbonize if it wants to have a future.”
With the 2023 provincial election now just a year away, the pressure is certainly growing on the Kenney UCP government to make good on its declaration to fight “tooth-and-nail” against the Trudeau emissions plan.
Dan Singleton is editor with the Albertan.