Alberta puts up pro-Trans Mountain signs in British Columbia

May 11 (UPI) — More than a half million dollars is designated for advocating for the Trans Mountain pipeline through billboards in British Columbia, Alberta’s government said.

The provincial government of Alberta said it dedicated about $550,000 (USD) on billboards displayed in British Columbia supporting the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. The government said the signs would be displayed “until the pipeline is in operation.”

British Columbia in late April asked the courts to confirm its jurisdiction over the right to regulate the environmental and economic impact of the transportation through its territory of the heavier type of crude oil found in neighboring Alberta.

After spending more than $850 million since it petitioned federal regulators for the project, pipeline company Kinder Morgan said last month that opposition to tripling the capacity of Trans Mountain exposed its shareholders to undue risk. That opposition, the company added, has led to increased provincial tensions.

Alberta’s government said it would help finance the project and later proposed legislation that could block exports of oil, natural gas or fuels to its neighbors in British Columbia, which opposes the project.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the Canadian economy needs access to foreign markets and without projects like Trans Mountain, the economy is out as much as $30 million per day.

“It is important that Canadians understand what’s at stake when we talk about the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion,” she said in a statement.

Kinder Morgan said it still felt the expansion project was a national interest and would consult with stakeholders on how to proceed. If it can’t find a resolution by May 31, it would likely back out of the project.