Back in June of this year the National Energy Board reported that crude oil-by-rail exports from Canada set a new record of 204,558 barrels per day.
Industry analysts predict that by the end of this year, oil exports could increase to 300,000 barrels.
The International Energy Agency has predicted that by the end of 2019 Canadian oil by rail exports could hit 390,000 barrels a day with the potential to possibly hit peak levels of as much as 590,000 barrels.
For some added context, in 2012 the shipment of oil by rail was roughly 30,000 barrels of oil per day.
I mention these things because the efforts to block the Trans Mountain pipeline have been successful to date and have only served to increased shipment by rail, a less environmentally efficient option.
At the same time the production of oil in Alberta continues to increase.
Currently oil production is on pace to hit 5.6 million barrels per day by 2035, an increase of over 30% to current production levels. In the absence of increased pipeline capacity it is clear why oil by rail exports will only continue to increase.
Aside from the logistical challenges, there is also the current inability to access new markets that are willing to pay more for Canadian oil then is currently the case with exporting to the United States.
Industry experts predict that roughly $1 billion a month is being lost in potential increased revenue from accessing new markets.
As many will know the Federal Liberal Government has paid $4.5 Billion to purchase the existing Trans Mountain pipeline and has repeatedly stated it will spend an additional $7-9 billion to build the expanded project.
Currently the project remains at an impasse with no clear deadline being set by the Government for completion let alone construction.
What if there was another way?
Independent Senator Doug Black has tabled a private members bill in the Senate.
Bill S-245 “An Act to declare the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project and related works to be for the general advantage of Canada”.
As many know, the BC NDP Government has been making efforts to block the Trans-Mountain pipeline.
Bill S-245 proposes that the authority of class 29 of section 91 and paragraph (c) of class 10 of section 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867 to be used to declare this project necessary for the general advantage of Canada.
This bill passed in the Senate and is before the House of Commons this week.
Given that the Prime Minister has repeatedly stated that the Trans-Mountain project is in Canada’s national interests, it will be interesting to see if the Liberals support this Senate bill going forward.
My question this week:.
Do you support Senate Bill S-245 and the intent to declare this project necessary for the general advantage of Canada?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.