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From The Canadian Press

EDMONTON – Premier Rachel Notley says the proposed expansion of a pipeline to the B.C. coast is not just in Alberta’s best interests, but is the best thing for Canada as well.

“This important pipeline infrastructure will support an integrated energy economy in Canada that will be more attractive to investors, which in turn will generate more economic activity Canada-wide,” Notley said Tuesday in a written submission to the National Energy Board.

A three-member board panel is hearing submissions on its environmental assessment of the 1,150-kilometre Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries crude oil and refined products from Edmonton to terminals in the Vancouver area.

Kinder Morgan is looking to twin the line to almost triple capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.

The company says there is enough demand on the line to make the expansion worthwhile, and Notley agrees.

In her letter, she said Alberta has abundant oil resources for an expanded line. The province currently isn’t getting a fair return on its oil because lack of pipeline capacity is restricting sales to just one buyer — the United States, she said.

“Because of limited market access, Western Canada’s oil price has persistently been undervalued relative to world prices,” wrote Notley.

“The loss from price discounting is of such size and persistence that it cannot be in the Canadian public interest, and should be weighted heavily by the National Energy Board in its considerations.”

Getting more oil to west coast ports would allow for access to Asian markets such as China.

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