Premier Rachel Notley pulled Alberta out of the national climate agreement Thursday until the federal government gets the Trans Mountain pipeine expansion back on track.

"Alberta is pulling out of the federal climate plan," Notley told reporters following a nationally-televised address after the pipeline project construction was halted by a court ruling. "Without Alberta the climate plan isn't worth the paper it's printed on."

"This ruling is bad for working families...Albertans are angry. I am angry," @RachelNotley said, announcing her decision to pull Alberta out of the federal #climate plan. #TransMountain #KinderMorgan

She said Alberta was going to keep the current price of carbon at $30 per tonne, rather than increasing it to $40 in 2021 as planned under the federal climate agreement.

Earlier, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed the federal government’s approval of Kinder Morgan's project, after concluding that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet made its decision without considering all evidence and failing in its legal duty to consult First Nations.

Notley called the decision a "crisis" and urged Trudeau to recall Parliament to an emergency session to "fix the mistakes" of the pipeline review process and get construction of the Trans Mountain project going by January 2019. She also demanded the federal government immediately launch an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

She said if Parliament asserts its authority to fix the National Energy Board process, to make clear that marine matters will be dealt with in a different forum and gets consultations going. Construction could resume early in the new year, she said, "if the federal government acts boldly and gives this project the attention it deserves."

She said that pulling out of the climate accord sends a strong message to the federal government as Alberta was a good ally. Alberta had always made participation in the climate agreement contingent on the pipeline project, she said. In 2016, Canada reached an agreement with all provinces except Saskatchewan to implement a national climate plan. Alberta agreed to implement carbon pricing starting at $20 per tonne in 2017, despite criticism from oil industry proponents.

"This ruling is bad for working families...Albertans are angry. I am angry," Notley said. "Albertans did everything right, and we were let down...The current state of affairs in Canada right now means that building a pipeline to the tidewater is almost impossible."

Notley said Alberta's oil was landlocked, and that the U.S. would continue to be its sole market if an oil pipeline expansion to tidewater was not built.

"This is a threat to Canadian sovereignty," she said, noting that British Columbia should also be concerned about its liquefied natural gas exports.

Notley said she spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and was told Ottawa is still backing the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and still intends to have it built.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau also stated in a news conference assurances that the federal government will have the pipeline built. On the same day as the Federal Court ruling, Kinder Morgan's shareholders voted to sell the company’s Trans Mountain expansion to federal taxpayers for $4.5 billion. Morneau said the sale could close as early as tomorrow, leaving Canadian taxpayers owning a project that had its construction permits revoked by the courts.

If built, the Trans Mountain expansion would triple the capacity of an existing pipeline system, allowing it to ship up to 890,000 barrels of bitumen and other petroleum products from Alberta to a Burnaby terminal in metro Vancouver. The federal and Alberta governments, along with oil companies, say it would generate growth by giving oilsands producers access to new markets on the Pacific Ocean. Dozens of affected Indigenous communities, environmentalists and some municipalities along the route have argued that the project is too risky and would push Canada’s climate change goals out of reach.

In February, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told National Observer that the Trans Mountain pipeline was approved in exchange for getting Alberta to support its national climate plan, including the implementation of a carbon tax. Notley said Alberta didn't have a climate plan prior to this agreement, and that it would need to pull out of the plan until the current crisis over Trans Mountain was resolved.

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Comments

Suspicious about the federal climate plan, it might not have made a difference for Alberta to pull out anyway. The real goal should not be to tax existing emissions for profit, but to eliminate the emissions completely. That's clearly not what Trudeau had in mind.

Leave your 'land-locked' tar goo in the ground Notley...that will solve the problem for all! And while you're at it, create 1000's of useful jobs cleaning up Alberta's existing tarsands environmental disaster.

Well, that's pretty treacherous. Polls not looking good for her? Really, it's a bit much--she's turning on Trudeau when short of establishing a fascist dictatorship that quashes court rulings it doesn't like (as Jason Kenney would probably prefer) he's done all he can for her, and is now about to buy a white elephant for billions of dollars for her even though he can't even build it.
Meanwhile, she has no more power to back out of the national climate plan than Doug Ford (or Jason Kenney); Trudeau can set carbon taxes wherever he wants, and the provinces have no legal case to stop him, especially since he's nicely giving them back the revenue.

While I am pleased that at the very least this toxic project is delayed, I am saddened by the lack of connection to climate change in any commentaries. Climate change is barreling down upon our nest. Currently the economics (fossil fuel based) in many countries are taking precedence over the laws of nature. The laws of nature are not going to change so we must change from our fossil fuel economic rational as the arbitrator of everything we do to looking at climate impacts for our actions. I think about 80% of international economics rest on fossil fuels - chemicals, fertilizers, cosmetics, plastics, fuel and I am sure much more. So changing our reliance on the fossil fuel base of our economies is going to hurt. However, it will not hurt as much as slamming into mother nature as she makes 3 billion people climate refugees. Temperatures of 50C are untenable for humans, never mind all the other creatures and plant life. Such temperatures are already upon this earth for short time periods and will increasingly be the norm for vast areas around the equator. We are no longer looking at tipping points, we are into tipping cascades that surge into each other compounding the speed and intensity of each tipping point. Once we go over the cliff life on this earth may very well be untenable for hundreds of thousands of years.
I become frustrated that a few, mostly temporary jobs from KM, are holding our country and the lives of billions of people on this planet hostage for corporate and political greed. That stuff needs to stay in the earth.
In meeting our Paris Accord goals, Canada is very near the bottom of all countries. We are not a world leader in these goals, nor in encouraging alternate energy industry here in Canada. We're missing the future by focusing on the past.
Notley is only fighting for her political future. The 4 year election cycle has much to do with why effective measures are not taken for the climate. I know she will rant and rave, but she is not on the side of earth surviving in a state fit for life. She must not win, PM T must not win.

Perfect comment, Lois. Our energy and environment policies are so petty-minded and short-sighted given the massive threat of climate change. To me, it's mind-blowing that Trudeau is going to blow $20 billion on that stupid pipeline. Imagine if that money was spent on conservation and renewable energy projects.

And you think that Jason Kenney and Andrew Scheer will do better for the environment? Good luck!

Clearly, the only reason our Premier agreed to go along with climate change efforts, however minimal, was to get another pipeline built. We need a government that takes real action because we must act, not in order to satisfy industry.

Notley is doing a lot of damage to the NDP brand as she becomes a de facto assistant to Jason Kenney.

She has completed the job Jack Layton instigated. The NDP may find itself courting dissolution after the next election. There's nothing left of the socially democratic party Douglas began and the only remaining electoral credibility the party had was on environmental issues. Notley has utterly destroyed that now. Stephen Harper wanted to drag Canadian politics to the right - he's been very successful, damn his eyes.

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