NDP ‘Social Licence’ Scheme in Shambles

EDMONTON, AB: The latest delay to Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline again proves that the NDP’s job-killing carbon tax has failed to win so-called ‘social licence’ for pipelines. Alberta families are now saddled with an expensive tax that raises the price of virtually everything, and yet have no real progress on a pipeline that is critical to the economic success of Alberta.

“We all want the TransMountain pipeline expansion to succeed. Unfortunately, the naive NDP was popping champagne bottles last fall when all they had was a paper approval,” said UCP Caucus Leader Jason Nixon. “The NDP told us that burdening Albertans with a carbon tax would secure so-called ‘social licence’ in BC. And to make matters worse, they caved without a fight to Justin Trudeau’s 150% carbon tax hike before an inch of pipeline was actually built.”

On November 30th, 2016, the NDP Energy Minister stated that “shovels will be in the ground within the year.” Almost exactly a year later, the Globe & Mail revealed that “the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will need 1,200 permits to pass through British Columbia …but only 66 of those permits have so far been approved.” (Globe & Mail, Dec. 1, 2017). Yesterday, Kinder Morgan stated that continued delays in permitting into 2018 would put at risk the start-up date and could jeopardize the future viability of the entire project.

“It’s great that the Premier has decided to adopt some of UCP Leader Jason Kenney’s arguments in trying to persuade others on pipelines,” said UCP Economic Development & Trade Critic Richard Gotfried. “But when opponents continue to obstruct Alberta’s Constitutionally guaranteed market access, it’s time to start talking about serious ramifications and retaliatory measures. Those wishing to block the pipeline must know that they cannot do so without consequences.”

“Despite a lacklustre response from their Trudeau Liberal allies, the NDP remains steadfast in its commitment to force Ottawa’s 150% carbon tax hike on Albertans. At the very least, the Premier should announce an immediate freeze to her carbon tax until substantive progress is made,” concluded Gotfried.

“Since 2015, the NDP has only paid lip service to Alberta’s energy workers. Their actions speak for themselves: they’ve placed a hard cap on emissions to scare off future investment; they shut down entire coal communities; and, they’ve overloaded job-killing taxes and regulations onto a struggling oil and gas industry. Now, they’re folding like a cheap suit when members of their own party try to build a wall around Alberta’s economy. Their multi-billion dollar carbon tax hasn’t achieved anything beyond taking money from hard-working Albertans, and that’s why it’s increasingly shaping up to be the biggest policy failure in the history of our province,” concluded Nixon.