Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said she is ready to resort to using the Sovereignty Act for the first time ever to combat the federal government’s incoming clean electricity regulations which would require the province to achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035.
Smith told reporters Thursday that she was in the process of drafting a motion to use the Sovereignty Act, which was passed last December. The act allows the province to assert a claim of provincial jurisdiction in areas like natural resources or private property.
When first passing the bill, Smith said that she hoped she wouldn’t need it.
“We’re preparing a Sovereignty Act motion, and I’m hoping we don’t have to use it,” Smith reiterated on Thursday.
“We are going to defend our constitutional jurisdiction to make sure that we develop our our oil and gas industry at our own pace.”
Alberta has pledged to stay on track with its target year of 2050 to reach net zero electricity grid and Smith has said that she would not follow the Liberal government’s targets if imposed.
“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.
Smith’s comments come at a time when the province has begun an advertising campaign to warn Albertans about the negative impacts of the federal regulations.
The premier has warned that adopting the regulations in such a short time would lead to rolling blackouts across the province.
Alberta Electric System Operator CEO and president Mike Law echoed Smith’s concerns, saying that due to the fact that nearly 72% of Alberta’s energy supply comes from natural gas, adopting the regulations 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 Law.
“The (regulation) offers very little benefit from an emissions perspective while exposing Alberta to significant adverse risks.”
Other provinces including Saskatchewan and Newfoundland have joined in on the fight against the regulations.