Keystone XL is Good News for Alberta

U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is great news for Alberta and our oil and gas sector.

The U.S. State Department acknowledged for years that this pipeline would be good for job creation while protecting the environment. Unfortunately, the independent approval process was politicized by the previous administration.

President Trump’s announcement on Keystone XL is proof that Alberta’s oil and gas industry does not need to be punished with caps and carbon taxes to get access to tidewater.

Keystone XL is good news for Albertans. But let’s be clear, it was approved in spite of an ideological NDP government, not because of it.

The NDP government actively campaigned against the Keystone XL pipeline.

In 2015, Wildrose asked Premier Rachel Notley if she was willing to advocate for Keystone XL in the United States, but to no surprise, she was not. Notley refused to stand up for Alberta and jobs in our province.

Premier Notley even said Keystone XL would send jobs out of the province.

Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline should be Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first opportunity to stand up to President Trump.

Mulcair called the Keystone XL project a “massive error” for Canada.

Today, the NDP continues to attack the energy sector and make a bad situation worse for working families.

In today’s struggling economy, over 100,000 Albertans have lost their jobs and the NDP’s solution has been to add another tax onto families and businesses in our province.

The NDP government has admitted that their carbon tax will reduce Alberta’s economy by 0.4 per cent of GDP, resulting in thousands of jobs lost because of this NDP government’s economic meddling.

The carbon tax will not only increase costs for families and businesses in Alberta but will impede Canada’s ability to compete internationally as the United States will not be imposing one.

The approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is a long-deserved victory for our province. But Albertans continue to wonder whether or not their provincial and federal governments are on their side.

Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada needs to “phase out” the oil sands.

Albertans are sick and tired of people attacking our oil sands. The economic benefits of the oil sands are immense and the approval of Keystone XL will undoubtedly add to that value.

Trudeau then said he misspoke, that critics will always jump on his words.

Albertans know how Trudeau feels about Western Canada and our industries.

When fully implemented the NDP and Trudeau carbon taxes will cost the typical household $2,500 per year. Alberta is already the most expensive government in Canada, but the carbon tax creates new expensive bureaucracies to hand out billions in slush funds.

The Trudeau government needs to wake up and understand how devastating phasing out the oilsands would be to the entire provincial economy.

If Premier Notley and Prime Minister Trudeau truly want to help Albertans, they would scrap their plans for carbon taxes and focus on fixing a broken equalization system that sends billions of Albertans’ hard-earned dollars to provincial governments opposed to our energy sector.

Wildrose is the only party that has stood up and stated that we’ll repeal the NDP’s carbon tax immediately after being elected government in 2019.

Drew Barnes is the Wildrose Shadow Energy Minister and MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat.