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Premiers Christy Clark, Alison Redford find common pipeline ground (VIDEO)

Premier Christy Clark met Alberta Premier Alison Redford in Vancouver Thursday, to work out what they are calling a "framework agreement" for heavy oil pipeline expansion to the West Coast.

Alberta agrees to support B.C.'s demand for a revenue share from the oil production and export, as long as it doesn't come from Alberta's resource royalties. B.C. agrees to support Alberta's call for a national energy strategy, Clark and Redford said Tuesday.

"Alberta has reached a broader understanding and acceptance of British Columbia's five conditions, and our province had agreed to join the Canadian Energy Strategy discussions started by Premier Redford," Clark told reporters at an energy conference in Vancouver.

In previous meetings, Redford has been adamant that none of Alberta's resource royalties from oilsands crude will be shared. B.C. has argued that the oil producers and the federal government have to find a solution to the conditions for approval laid down by Clark.

Redford said her proposed national strategy is to address interprovincial projects such as pipelines, recognizing that energy is provincial jurisdiction.

"We don't think this is about quid pro quo or gotcha politics," Redford said. "This is about putting in place economic models that are going to work for Canada, for each of our economies, and allow for product to move."

Clark said she is pleased that Redford accepted her conditions, and the assurance she gave at their June meeting in Kelowna that B.C. isn't after Alberta's resource royalties. B.C. makes substantial royalties from natural gas and hopes to increase that substantially with exports, Clark said.

NDP leader Adrian Dix contrasted Tuesday's statements with Clark's position before the May election, where the government told the federal review panel on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline proposal it was opposed.

NDP environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert said B.C. has also said oil shipments are "going to happen, whether by train or by pipeline."

Redford visited B.C. to give a keynote speech to an energy forum hosted by the Vancouver Board of Trade. The sold-out event included a panel discussion with Redford and Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson, whose company is proposing to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to its Burnaby marine terminal and refineries in Burnaby and Washington.

Anderson was asked by Black Press how his company would respond if B.C. proposes a specific tax or toll on each barrel of oil shipped through the twinned Trans Mountain pipeline.

"I think it's far too early to be talking about those kinds of concepts," Anderson said. "We're looking to define and deliver the benefits from our project directly to communities in British Columbia. The extent to which the B.C. government  evaluates those, they'll do so on their own accord and they'll call me if they need to."

A federal review panel is preparing to make recommendations on Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to run from Alberta to a new marine terminal at Kitimat.

 

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