Jason Nixon: Alberta will not accept a climate plan that destroys its economy

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Alberta will not accept production cuts in the crazy climate plan published by the Liberal-NDP coalition.

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The Alberta government will not accept any federal emissions plan that hits hardest on Canadians’ pocketbooks, especially at a time when costs more than $2 a liter and seniors are struggling to heat their homes and pay their bills.

To be clear, there are only two ways to reduce emissions: invest in technology or reduce economic activity. Alberta will not accept a plan that explicitly plans to reduce economic activity, which is exactly what the Liberal-NDP coalition’s own figures project in the Emissions Reduction Plan published on March 29.

The reduction in oil and gas production detailed in his crazy climate plan would only send production and resulting economic activity to those in the world with the worst environmental records.

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My message to Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is clear: Alberta will not accept an emissions plan that would destroy Alberta’s economy and make life more unaffordable for Albertans. The world needs more oil and gas and the Alberta government is not interested in a transition of the energy sector jobs laid out in the plan.

The Alberta government will not accept a plan that tramples on the natural resource guarantees that former Premier Peter Lougheed fought for for the benefit of all Albertans. Albertans legitimately want to reap the benefits of economic activity produced from oil and gas, and the Alberta government can provide the services and new infrastructure that result from revenues and royalties.

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But if the federal government cuts production, royalties are cut. If jobs are lost, personal income tax is lost. If companies move, corporation tax is lost. Albertans saw billions of investments leave the province under Rachel Notley’s NDP; it is much more difficult to recover that investment.

In lost royalties alone, if a production cut results in a 10 percent drop, about a $1.3 billion loss, that means Alberta wouldn’t have the money for the Calgary Cancer Center, or for the new deal. child care that lowers the cost. child care for Albertans in half. Of course, the Liberal-NDP coalition loves to mention the services that Quebec can provide its residents, but conveniently fails to acknowledge the now $13.6 billion that Quebec receives in compensation each year, a program that a vast majority of voters voted against. Albertans in a referendum last fall.

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The Alberta government would be happy to contribute to the Confederation if the federal government had the same passion for protecting the quality of life that Albertans have worked hard to build for our families.

Instead, they will destroy it. And there has been relief from Premier Jason Kenney with the removal of provincial fuel taxes and a $150 rebate for the high electricity bills Albertans experienced last winter. But make no mistake: The Liberal-NDP Coalition’s wacky emissions plan will drive up electricity rates even higher and make life unaffordable for all Canadians, not just those in Alberta.

That’s why the Alberta government will fight tooth and nail to keep our economy intact and defend the resources that Premier Lougheed guaranteed would remain to benefit the province for all Albertans.

Jason Nixon is Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks.

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