Posted on Nov 2, 2016
Rally For Resources - AB Legislature
Rally For Resources - AB Legislature
My name is Shaye Anderson. I’m the MLA for Leduc Beaumont.
Thank you everyone for traveling here today, and thanks to the sponsors of this event for coordinating it all and making it easier for folks from all over Alberta to make it.
This is your legislature, and the oil and gas resources you are rallying in support of are your oil and gas resources.
I’m here on behalf of our Premier and cabinet to bring greetings from the province, and to say a few words about what our government is doing to get more drilling underway and to get new pipelines built. We are working hard to do both. As many of you know, we modernized our royalty framework earlier this year, based on extensive consultation with industry and Albertans. The framework officially comes into effect on January 1st of next year, but we have allowed companies to opt into that new framework early. What our oil and gas companies told us when we introduced the new royalty framework is that they like it, they think it’s more competitive, and they didn’t want to have to wait until the new year to start drilling under it.
So we said OK. Let’s get drilling.
As of today, over 100 new wells have been approved to drill under our new royalty framework, with more on the way. We will have more to say about this in the coming weeks, including more details around exactly where each well is being drilled. Each of those wells makes life better for the people on those rigs doing the hard work, as well as the families and communities they leave behind, to do that hard work. We need more of that. We need more of what you out there do.
We need more of Canada. We need more of Alberta!
We have a long way to go yet. We want to see thousands of new wells, not just a hundred. But this change, combined with some cautious optimism around the price of oil, is starting to help. I live in Beaumont and my riding has Nisku right in the middle of it. I’m tired of driving home down the QE2 and seeing all that oilfield service equipment sitting idle. That equipment needs to be out with hard working Albertans like all of you operating it, getting our resources out of the ground and out into market.
We all know that’s it’s not just royalties or the price of oil that’s important right now. Right now, more than ever, we need to get new pipelines built. Our government has a different approach to getting new pipelines built but it is has the same end goal. I consider folks from the opposition speaking here today as my friends. As allies. We need to work together. We all want the same thing– to get new pipelines approved and built. Our government is trying to take as much drama as possible out of the national pipeline discussion. We won’t convince everyone, of course. What we saw out east with the NEB hearings was incredibly frustrating and that’s part of the drama I was speaking of. We need these pipelines to be approved on merit. We need to take misinformation and false perceptions out of it. That is what the NEB process is for.
The NEB process is critical and it has to be allowed to proceed. As Albertans, we are all perfectly used to pipelines. Take the Kinder Morgan line, for instance. We see signs of the existing right of way for that pipeline here in Edmonton all the time. It’s been there for decades. We all know it’s safe. But some of our fellow Canadians in other provinces aren’t as used to pipelines as we are. They’ve never really had to see them or think about them. The NEB process gives are fellow Canadians the opportunity to ask questions and to get good answers.
That’s important. We need people to be informed and to have the right information. We need to give reasonable folks with reasonable questions an opportunity to get answers.
I don’t think anyone standing here speaking with you today is claiming that they have a plan to achieve 100% consensus on this issue, or any issue. I’m certainly not. Many Canadians have concerns about how new pipelines can go hand in hand with concerns about our climate. Our government is working hard to show that pipelines absolutely do go hand in hand with real action on climate change. We are working on both of those fronts. And what we are hearing from the people out there trying to get pipelines built, like the folks at Kinder Morgan, is that our efforts are helping.
A couple weeks ago, in Calgary, the President of Kinder Morgan, Mr. Ian Anderson, told the media that they are seeing evidence on the ground that Alberta’s efforts to improve the pipeline discussion are working. To quote exactly what he said, "I think the Alberta Climate Change plan and the alignment with some very significant environmental organizations was a huge step forward…" He went on to add, "As a matter of dark clouds parting, it was a huge benefit to me and us, and we've seen that on the ground.”
I think that kind of support is important. Our government does, too.
We are very hopeful that it will result in the first new pipeline to be built to tidewater in way too long. I had the good fortune of speaking with Michael Davies from Kinder Morgan just last evening and he is incredibly optimistic about the pipeline process and making sure that all of us work together as Canadians.
I am a blue collar guy. I’d rather be standing here in my steel toes and Carhartts than the suit that I have under this fantastic Hoodie. I grew up in a blue collar family that had to work hard for everything they got. My family was and is, primarily in the forest industry. I’m no stranger to tough times and job losses. Every time someone comes into my office who has lost their job or is going through tough times, my staff and I do everything we can to help. It’s my job, it’s in my nature, and it’s how my parents brought me up. You stand up and help those around you. You stand up for your community. I will fight every day for workers. From labourers, to trades people, to engineers and everyone in between.
I want to thank you for joining us here today and allowing me to say a few words. Thank you to all of the sponsors of this rally for putting this together, and for your help in getting new pipelines built.
Let’s keep the good work all of you are doing going… and let’s get new pipelines built. We all know we need more Alberta. Thank you.