That said, the vast majority of British Columbians - including one-third who now oppose the project - say a court ruling that its provincial government does not have the constitutional authority to block the project would be enough to give in and allow the pipeline to be twinned.
Horgan has said that he will continue to challenge Alberta in court over the pipeline and B.C. Attorney General David Eby said that he will take Alberta to court over Bill 12 if gas prices in the western province jump significantly.
Most Canadians in every province also say that if a federal election were looming, the pipeline project would be one of the most important factors in determining who would get their vote.
Alberta's proposed legislation and B.C.'s response are the latest manoeuvres in the escalating dispute over the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C. The federal and Alberta governments support the project, while B.C. opposes it, saying it is defending its coast from a potentially catastrophic oil products spill. "The reference will first be approved by cabinet through an order-in-council, and then filed with the Court of Appeal registry". If Albertans want to buy themselves a pipeline that may or may not be built, that's up to them.
On April 8, the company said it would stop allocating shareholder resources to the project and suspend "non-essential activities and related spending" as it seeks "clarity on the path forward".
Eby said Tuesday his ministry has reviewed Alberta's legislation, presented Monday to give the province new authority to require licences for pipeline, rail and truck shipments.
Rachel Notley, the premier of Alberta, home to Canada's sizeable tar sands oil reserves, is unsurprisingly strongly in favour of the project.
After Kinder Morgan made the announcement, Alberta entered into discussions with the oil company to "establish a financial relationship that will eliminate investor risk".
When the Alberta government released Budget 2018 last month, the province's path back to balance by 2023 relied on pipelines.
The majority of gasoline and aviation fuel used in B.C.is shipped from Alberta through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline.
Ervin said cutting off light oil supplies through Trans Mountain would hurt Alberta-based Parkland Fuels Corp., which bought the 55,000-barrel-per-day Burnaby refinery previous year and has enjoyed good margins thanks to its access to low-priced Alberta feedstock. That "may inadvertently impact the price that people pay for it on the other end of the train track", Notley said.
Kinder Morgan has set a deadline of May 31 to get a tangible sign from Canada that the project can and will be completed.
"I appreciate that they also see the importance of the energy industry to Alberta and indeed to the country", she said.