The chief executive of Whitecap Resources Inc. is confident that Alberta and British Columbia can be “reasonable” over the longstanding environmental dispute surrounding Canadian pipeline projects.

“I think with reasonable dialogue that we can actually sit down and have an educated conversation on this matter,” Whitecap president and CEO Grant Fagerheim told BNN Bloomberg in an interview on Wednesday.

“The entire climate change discussion has become so divisive right across our country and I think that reasonableness should prevail.”

Newly-sworn-in Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has vowed to protect the province’s resources from British Columbia, telling Premier John Horgan on Wednesday that while he does not immediately intend to reduce oil flows into B.C., the province intends to defend its oil and gas sector.

B.C.'s government responded Wednesday by taking Alberta to court over the law, calling it unconstitutional in a statement of claim filed in Calgary.

Horgan and Kenney’s predecessor – now-Opposition Leader Rachel Notley – traded harsh words and economic sanctions last year over B.C.’s opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. The rift forced a face-to-face sit down in Ottawa with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

That project now lies in the hands of the federal government, which Kenney said he will take to task over its pipeline policies and carbon tax plans.

Fagerheim expressed confidence that Kenney will be a better champion for Alberta’s oil patch than Notley was.

“We needed someone to stand up for the Canadian energy space,” Fagerheim said of Alberta under Notley. “The previous government was gentle. They were against the energy space for the first two-and-a-half to three years … Leading up to an election they changed their mind and thought they should be supportive of it.”

“[Kenney] will do what’s right for the energy sector and he also has a keen eye for what’s best for the Canadian economy,” Fagerheim said. “And, if we don’t have a strong Canadian energy space, we do not have a strong Canadian economy.”