Ken­ney calls for govern­ment-en­forced cap on oil pro­duc­tion

The self-pro­claimed free mar­ket con­ser­va­tive wants pro­vin­cial in­ter­ven­tion

StarMetro Edmonton - - FRONT PAGE - KIERAN LEAV­ITT STARMETRO ED­MON­TON

Op­po­si­tion leader Ja­son Ken­ney is call­ing for the pro­vin­cial govern­ment to en­force a 10 per cent pro­duc­tion cur­tail­ment in Al­berta to deal with the on­go­ing oil price dif­fer­en­tial.

The United Con­ser­va­tive Party leader said at a news con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day that he doesn’t take the de­ci­sion lightly, but af­ter hav­ing con­sulted in­dus­try ex­perts, said it needed to be done.

“I be­lieve govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion in mar­kets should gen­er­ally be avoided,” Ken­ney said. “Which is why I was ini­tially op­posed to the idea of manda­tory cur­tail­ment when it was first floated a few weeks ago.”

Ken­ney said as of Wed­nes­day, Al­berta oil was sell­ing at

about $12 per bar­rel, about $40 less than Texas crude. He also said the cur­tail­ment won’t elim­i­nate the $40 dif­fer­en­tial — just bring it down to around $20.

A self-pro­claimed free mar­ket

con­ser­va­tive leader whose party is ex­pected to mount the strongest chal­lenge to the NDP in the 2019 elec­tion, said his pro­posal wasn’t a po­lit­i­cal ploy to make his cau­cus look good.

CODIE MCLACH­LAN FOR STARMETRO

Ja­son Ken­ney speaks at an Ed­mon­ton Cham­ber of Com­merce lunch on Nov. 14. On Wed­nes­day, the Op­po­si­tion leader called for the Al­berta govern­ment to en­force manda­tory cuts to oil pro­duc­tion.

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