Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has finally had enough with Ottawa. Her UCP government is prepared to table a motion under the Alberta Sovereignty Act to oppose the federal ‘net-zero’ power regulations.
On Thursday, Smith took off the gloves in what is expected to be an electric bout with Ottawa on provincial jurisdiction.
“We’re preparing a Sovereignty Act motion, and I’m hoping we don’t have to use it,” she said.
The premier told reporters that she intends not to implement the draft regulations as private property and natural resource development constitute provincial jurisdiction.
“We are going to defend our constitutional jurisdiction to make sure that we develop our oil and gas industry at our own pace,” she added.
Since May, Alberta has repeatedly said it supports a ‘net-zero’ target date of 2050 to fully decarbonize the electricity grid.
“Hopefully, no one ever has to see [the motion]. Hopefully […] we’re able to come to a peaceful resolution with our federal counterparts,” said Smith.
Her warning of a sovereignty motion comes on the heels of a local advertising campaign by the province to educate Albertans on the costs of these regulations.
She claimed they would lead to rolling blackouts and brownouts across the province.
Also on Thursday, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) backed Smith’s opposition to the regulations, claiming their adoption would have devastating consequences.
“Our analysis and engineering assessment is that there will not be sufficient supply within the province post-2035 to meet the demands of the province,” said AESO CEO and president Mike Law.
“The [regulation] offers very little benefit from an emissions perspective while exposing Alberta to significant adverse risks.”
Nearly 72% of Alberta’s energy supply for its power grid comes from natural gas.