Alberta’s economy is intricately tied to the U.S., and the next U.S. president will make decisions that have wide-ranging effects on Albertans.
Outgoing American President Barack Obama opposed the Keystone XL Pipeline (Phase IV) that would have essentially duplicated the Phase I pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta and Steele City in Nebraska with a shorter route and a larger-diameter pipe.
The pipeline would run through Baker, Montana, where American-produced light crude oil from the Williston Basin of Montana and North Dakota would be added to the Keystone's current pass through of synthetic crude oil (syncrude) and diluted bitumen (dilbit) from the oil sands of Canada. However, after more than six years of review, President Barack Obama announced on November 6, 2015, his administration's rejection of the fourth phase. New President-elect Donald Trump said that he would "absolutely approve it, 100 percent."
Vermilion Mayor Bruce MacDuff says that he believes Trump will be good for Alberta “if he does what he says he is going to do.”
“With respect to more infrastructure spending and the pipeline, we may see some trickle down here. Trump is motivated by business. I think his advisors will help him keep his mouth under control. When America’s economy grows, our economy grows because we supply a lot to America.
America using Canadian oil would be good for Alberta. If Canada built a pipeline to the east and the west, we would have a pipeline to use for our own oil instead of importing oil from foreign countries with dictators and lack of human rights," said Mayor MacDuff.
$30 billion per year in Canada is spent on importing foreign oil. This oil (700,000 barrels a day) comes in at the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in New Brunswick from Venezuela, the Middle East, and Nigeria.
"Trump will take a very different environmental stance than Obama; will he embrace the 'greening' of fossil fuels? Trump has promised massive infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, hospitals, etc.) to make America great again. America needs our oil. Despite big production increases, the USA needs the Keystone pipeline,” said Mayor MacDuff.
America imports 10 million barrels of oil to feed its daily 19.4 million barrels' consumption according to the International Agency Oil Market Report.
“If you don’t have a reasonable plan for energy it won’t work. Nine megawatts basic power is used all day every day in Alberta, this is steady, and if you take coal out of the equation, there is not enough energy power. How are you going to fill that basic gap when the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow; are we going to buy power from elsewhere? Why would investors build gas plants for power when in 10/15 years the government may say no more natural gas burning,” added Mayor MacDuff.