Wildrose motion calls for pipeline approvals and an end to dependence on 'dictator oil'
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Wildrose motion calls for pipeline approvals and an end to dependence on 'dictator oil'

A Wildrose motion debated Monday at the Alberta legislature calls for the federal government to build more pipelines and "end our dependence on foreign dictator oil."

The motion, introduced by Wildrose economic development critic Prasad Panda, calls for a renewed push for the Energy East pipeline to take Alberta oil to refineries in Eastern Canada. If built, the pipeline would transport 1.1 million barrels of oil per day.

"It's time for Canada to assert itself as the energy superpower it should be and begin the move toward energy independence," Panda told a news conference at the Alberta legislature Monday.

The Wildrose Party has decried the "hurdles and red tape" that have stalled the hearing process for Energy East and wants to pressure the federal government to speed it up. The National Energy Board recently appointed a new panel after the last one was disbanded. New hearing dates have yet to be chosen.

Alberta Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd said "it's looking good so far" that Energy East will be built and said the province will continue to lobby for it.

McCuaig-Boyd said the best way for the Opposition to lobby for pipelines was to support the government's climate leadership plan, which the government credits for two recent pipeline approvals, including the Trans Mountain expansion to the West Coast.

Foreign oil continues to fulfil demand in Eastern Canada, mainly because there isn't enough pipeline capacity to transport Alberta's.

In 2016, Canada imported 759,000 barrels of oil per day, with just over half of those coming from the United States. In that time, overseas imports rose from 277,000 to 348,000 barrels of oil per day.

After the U.S., 11 per cent of the total imports come from Saudi Arabia, while the next biggest importers are Algeria, Nigeria and Norway.

Panda said Canada imports 245,000 barrels of oil per day from countries with "brutal" human rights and environmental records. The party used the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch to determine the human rights records of the importer countries.

sxthomson@postmedia.com

twitter.com/stuartxthomson

source : Calgary SUN
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