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Lawmakers in oil rich Canadian province push back against federal clean energy mandate

Alberta conservatives invoked the Sovereignty Act for the first time. The act, which passed last year, was designed to protect the province from federal laws that the provincial government considers unconstitutional.

Published: November 28, 2023 3:39pm

Some lawmakers in the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta are pushing back against the federal government’s clean energy demands over concerns of rising electricity rates and blackouts.

The Canadian government is proposing regulations that would lay out a plan for the nation’s electricity grid to be carbon neutral by 2035, a proposal called the Clean Electricity Regulations.

To protect the province should the proposal become final, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and the Alberta United Conservative party invoked the Sovereignty Act for the first time.

The act, which passed last year, was designed to protect the province from federal laws that the provincial government considers unconstitutional.

The Alberta legislature Monday tabled the resolution to use the act. Smith said its passage would have helped if the issue ended up in court, but it would also encourage the federal government to abandon the proposed carbon neutral law, according to the CBC.

Smith said the country will risk high cost to consumers and experience electricity supply shortfalls if it tries to decarbonize its grid so rapidly.