This past week I had the privilege, to be in Hardisty, for the announcement from Enbridge that they are now putting shovels in the ground and work will begin on Line 3 replacement.
This announcement is not only good for the people of Hardisty, but also the people of Alberta.
Thank-you, and congratulations, Enbridge for following through on this project to the point where we are now getting ready to put shovels in the ground.
The last couple of years has not been the easiest time for energy companies in Alberta, for a number of reasons.
Companies like Enbridge are one of the reasons that Alberta became one of the best places in the world to raise a family, and it is good to see them willing to stick it out with us in hard times as well.
This is a reminder that, even when faced with the obstacles of low oil prices and excessive additional costs imposed by government, Albertans and our energy industry finds a way to persevere and succeed.
But make no mistake, Line 3 is not a “new” pipeline approval like the federal Liberals or the NDP would have you believe. This is a repair/replacement exercise. If not repaired or replaced, time might have played upon it and failure somewhere on the line would have been inevitable.
Similarly, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline also already exists in B.C.
Both Line 3 and the Kinder Morgan pipeline are best described in terms of roads. Line 3 was like a failing road and must be repaired so that no one would have an accident on it. Kinder Morgan could be compared to a highway that’s seeing too much traffic and now we have to twin it. No social license should have been needed. Sound business practices should have fast-tracked both of these projects.
This project — to replace and upgrade sections of the existing Line 3 pipeline between Hardisty and Superior, Wisconsin — is a massive undertaking, one that we hope will mean jobs and continued economic benefit to the people of Hardisty, Provost and Alberta.
To that point, I had the pleasure of meeting with management from a local company — Safety First Muirhead’s Ltd — a few weeks ago and discussing with them the issues they were having applying for work within the project. I’m happy to say that was, to a point, resolved and that a local company and local people will be direct beneficiaries of the project.
This project is further confirmation of what Albertans and our caucus have always known, that pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to get our world-class energy products to market.
It is unfortunate that this fact was ignored, along with National Energy Board approval, by government in the case of the Northern Gateway pipeline.
When political points become more important that the rational, objective and science-based process of the NEB, Albertans and Canadians lose out on the greater energy security and economic benefits that a new pipeline would bring.
While I know that Albertans would like to see new pipelines instead of just upgrades or replacements, this is a good first step. But it is just a first step, and one approval grudgingly given by the federal government will not be enough to help restore the Alberta advantage.
I, and my UCP caucus colleagues, will be working tirelessly to make sure that announcements like the one today become the norm, and not the exception.