Harper’s plugged pipeline policy

Time to change the agenda–again?

by Paul Wells

Harper’s plugged pipeline policy

Paul Sancya/AP

What if the major policy initiative of Stephen Harper’s majority mandate is a non-starter?

This will take some explaining. Let’s begin with a pop quiz. You’re in charge of a big pipe that carries liquid a long distance. One day you notice the pressure inside the pipe is dropping. What on Earth could be making the pressure in your pipe fall?

If it takes you less than 17 hours to answer, “hole in the pipe,” then you would have been much too clever to work for Enbridge in July 2010, when more than three million litres of diluted bitumen gushed out of that company’s pipeline and into the wetlands and rivers near Marshall, Mich. That’s an amount of ethical oil roughly equivalent to the amount of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The oil kept spilling for 17 hours after the initial alarm. By Enbridge’s own rules, the response to a pressure drop should have been to shut the line down until the cause was known, but, you know, whoopsie.

Related:

“While there have been larger onshore oil spills, in this case, Enbridge Incorporated is responsible for the release that has been the most expensive to clean up,” said Debbie Hersman, the chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Bureau. “According to a recent Enbridge SEC filing and the EPA, the total cleanup cost, so far, is more than $800 million. That is already more than five times the next most-costly onshore oil spill.”

We bring you this news because the good people of British Columbia are deciding how excited they should be about the prospect of the Northern Gateway project—twin Enbridge pipelines, chock full of oil and lessons learned—running across the province from northern Alberta to the ports at Kitimat.

Adrian Dix, the province’s opposition NDP leader, is seriously not excited. “Under the Enbridge proposal, British Columbia would assume almost all the project’s risk, yet would see only a fraction of the benefits,” Dix said as his caucus sent a protest letter to the National Energy Board’s joint review panel a few weeks ago. “By any measure, such a high-risk, low-return approach simply isn’t in B.C.’s interests.”

Of course, despite a string of encouraging polls, Dix isn’t the premier of British Columbia. The B.C. Liberals’ Christy Clark still is, but while she makes a show of reserving judgment on Gateway, Clark’s language is much like Dix’s. “When it comes to risk and benefit, compared to the opportunity that liquefied natural gas represents, the Enbridge pipeline is actually quite small on the benefit side but quite large on the risk side,” Clark told Maclean’s a couple of weeks ago.

So Enbridge, or its protectors in the Alberta government, will be tempted to sweeten the pot for British Columbians by offering royalties or jobs in return for political support. And that probably won’t help. As Vaughn Palmer pointed out in the Vancouver Sun, British Columbians have a long history of blocking resource-development projects whose entire benefit would have stayed in the province: “The Windy Craggy copper property in the northwest. The Kemano II expansion on the coast. Uranium mining in the southern interior. Coal bed methane anywhere. Logging in any number of forest tracts. The BC Hydro gas-fired generating station on Vancouver Island. All killed, in large measure by environmental concerns.”

Which brings us back, at last, to Stephen Harper. His government kicked off the new year by declaring that diversifying Canada’s energy exports—basically, away from the United States and toward China—was a top government priority. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver kicked off the festivities by releasing a temper tantrum of an open letter. “Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade,” Oliver wrote, or somebody wrote over his signature. “These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources.” Then Harper flew to China, the spring budget turned out to contain a bunch of measures designed to clip environmental groups’ wings, and everyone whirled into a perfect tizzy.

But now it’s July and the Gateway hearings are still going on and absolutely nobody has been mollified by all the huffing and puffing from Ottawa. Oliver’s harrumphing letter “didn’t go down well in Calgary,” one oil-industry lobbyist told our reporter Chris Sorensen last week. Even bank executive Jim Prentice, who used to be the Petroleum Club’s best friend in Harper’s cabinet, is urging a softer touch. “The constitutional obligation to consult with First Nations is not a corporate obligation,” he wrote in the Vancouver Sun. “It is the federal government’s responsibility.”

Of course the oil patch will still sell oil if Enbridge doesn’t find a route to Kitimat. But last October a lot of Conservatives were wondering what they’d won a majority to do. In January, Harper told them, “This.” These days, “this” isn’t amounting to much. Time for a new agenda? The third since he won re-election 14 months ago?




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Harper’s plugged pipeline policy

  1. Canada’s supply of conventional crude has been on the decline since the early 1970s and, despite the country’s export of synthetic crude, imports of nearly 800,00 BOPD are required to meet growing consumption as shown here:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2012/01/canadas-oil-sands-are-we-exporting.html

    The Harper government’s endless moves to turn Canada into the world’s next petrostate are misguided at best.

  2. The solution is simple. Incentivize creating bitumen upgrading facilities near the oilsands themselves, then export gasoline and other upgraded petroleum products. This race to export raw product is stupid, and I’m happy it’s failing. Export our bitumen to the United States, then import the gasoline and diesel made from it? Huh? Or export it to China and then import the scare amount of fuel left? We dont need another National Energy Program – we just need to process the material ourselves, this will reduce our gas prices.

    When it comes to exporting compressed natural gas in BC; the solution is again simple and the federal government could really get onside with something that makes sense – incentivize conversion of vehicles to run cleaner burning natural gas. A natural-gas hybrid vehicle would have all the benefits of fuel efficiency and burn cleaner fuel.

    The Harper government’s rush to dump our natural resources is a stupid policy. If he wants to create jobs and wear the success of that objective, building pipelines and LNG export terminals is not the way to do it. Building hydrocarbon upgrading facilities and making it a goal to have 80% of Canada’s vehicle fleet converted to natural gas is.

    • “We just need to process the material ourselves” Any idea why no one is racing to spend gazillions on a potentially 15 year review process before a shovel hits the ground? As well, how would you recommend shipping the finished product? mmmm pipeline maybe? Look at the costs just to upgrade existing ones http://www.suncor.com/en/about/232.aspx

      • I assume the reason is comparatively dirt cheap labour (by N. american standards) that makes all the back and forth shipping seem attractive by comparison.

        • I would say partly due to low royalty rates in AB making primary bitumen extraction MORE economic (higher return) than upgrading to Synthetic Crude Oil (and there is a big difference between upgrading and refining btw).

          So, full steam ahead on primary extraction for the resource companies.

          Unfortunately, when you need to dilute the bitumen with 30% condensate (imported from PacRim countries in the NGP proposal) so you can ship it in the pipelines, it means you need to add 30% more pipeline capacity.

          And with bottlenecks looming on the horizon, the sol’n to me is obvious. The free market will eventually get there…

          • that also sounds like it could play a big role.

    • Duh…you still need pipelines for the upgraded/refined products.

      Right now it isn’t economic to do most of the upgrading in Alberta. Alberta has retained the ability to upgrade/refine economically with the ability to takes its bitumen royalty-in-kind.

      Upgrading and refining tend to be lousy unprofitable businesses over the long term. The economic value is in the bitumen. One upgrades and refines and the threat to do so only to maintain the value of the bitumen.

      It is better for Alberta and Canada to find more productive and profitable economic things to invest in than upgrading and refining.

      That said, I support supplying eastern refineries with bitumen, and the Shell refinery in Montreal could be saved if it were refurbished to handle bitumen.

      The spice will flow. It really doesn’t hurt to keep the yahoos focused on Gateway, because then the alternatives like rail-to-the-coast can progress while all the attention is focussed on Gateway.

      Dix and Mulcair could build the upgraders and refineries in Prince Rupert and Kitimat, you know, which would be a really good location for them. Prince Rupert and Kitimat could become a northern Houston. The Chinese would probably be just as happy with this as importing the bitumen. I’m sure BC could engage China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore to make Price Rupert a major petrochemical centre.


      • Right now it isn’t economic to do most of the upgrading in Alberta.

        The Enbridge NGP NEB proposal predicts roughly a $30 spread per barrel @ Edmonton (SCO over bitumen).

        In an email exchange with CAPP, they indicated to me the full cycle cost of an upgrader in AB is ~ $20-$25/barrel.

        Which means a forecast profit of $5-$10/barrel using industry numbers. That is not to say that it is not more profitable for some companies to upgrade elsewhere (depending upon a particular O&G company’s level of vertical integration).

        You are just blindly repeating spin.

        • Starting with your numbers, it would be interesting to see the ultimate economic wealth that would be created in Alberta and the ROC as a result.

        • Dot, there is also the fact that transporting the unrefined product is much safer. . .

          That is one of the biggest considerations.

          • Sorry, I’ve seen you make that comment a number of times now, and I wouldn’t know where to start to reply.

            For one thing, you have to look at specific gravity (relative to water which has s.g of 1). If gretaer than 1 (like most bitumen ) it sinks – so if you spill it in the ocean of in streams, it will mostly end up covering the river/ocean bottom.

            Gasoline, diesel and lighter oils float – so easier to skim, contain.

            Refined products are more volatile, but are also more homogeneous. So, can be burned off if necessary.

            And if you ship bitumen to a refinery somewhere, then you still need to transport the refined product to market somehow – so the risk still exists.

            Perhaps you can tell us your background and knowledge on this subject before making such universal statements, repeatedly.

          • Dot,

            I’m not sure why you are trying to talk to a Harper Gov’t propagandist. They don’t have conversations, they just spam the latest ‘talking points’ on behalf of the O&G industry…. just an FYI…

    • K – not that simple. The dangers of shipping the refined product is much, much higher.

      • You keep saying this, and never backing it up.

        You could start with Dot’s reply above. Also (according to a link kindly provided by someone elsewhere on this comment thread, http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/aswift/government_investigation_provi.html):

        - Bitumen can vary in viscosity, causing variations in pressure. This was a factor in the Enbridge spill since it messed with their alarms. And it increases stress on the pipes themselves.

        - Bitumen is corrosive and carried at higher temps than oil. This was also a factor in the Enbridge spill and not something well-understood in pipelines today.

        • Enbridge has 1000+ rivers to spill it in as part of their “experiment” in getting bitumen transport to work. I’m sure there will be “lessons learned” every day! Imagine the exciting learning opportunities for the clownshow that Enbridge calls a safety and monitoring team. hmm…

  3. I like how Harper goes around talking like he cares about Canadians and our economy, when really, all he wants to do is bring in foreign companies and workers to steal our resources. If Harper was so concerned about our economy like he says he is, he would help Canadian companies and workers harvest and process our own natural resources and sell them off internationally. This way we make most of the money and our economy would grow.

    • Harper seems to be beholden to his ideology of free markets that everyone in other nations are taking Canada to the cleaners with. Canada will only be a resource extracting nation under his leadership.

      He is not good or smart enough to represent Canada in a world of sharks.

    • Justin, can you please provide some proof for this statement:
      “all he wants to do is bring in foreign companies and workers to steal our resources.”

      I would love to hear it. I just can’t see why he would want to do that, as it would be self defeating, and hurt the country, but you seem to have some inside information.

      Care to share?

  4. What I fund most visually striking on this pipeline failure was the picture of the actual split line. NatPost carried this one the other day http://tinyurl.com/87r4hzg Yowza.

    The trouble with claiming that you are, or are emerging as an “Energy Superpower” is that you feel you can act differently. And when left unchecked (without dissent that you listen to) you begin to believe your own rhetoric, and feel that you can simply just bully things through.

    Then, when industry and gov’t start waving the value of the resource (yada yada billions of dollars) if we don’t get this/that or the other pipeline through RIGHT NOW, it puts a big bullseye target on the project(s). And the more experienced opposition groups coalesce, mobilize and rise to the challenge.

    Enbridge setbacks on Northern Gateway are not the end of the world (if you are a resource developer). Lots of time and other options. But Harper would be well advised to review how he has handled this file when he retreats for his annual hibernation and navel gazing exercise. And should bring in lots of his critics.

    • An “Energy Superpower” like Russia or Saudi Arabia is not known for democratic or ecologically sane practices. Quite the opposite, that terminology implies oppression. Anyone using that phrase to describe Canada is a deadly enemy of our human rights and the biosphere’s viability, and should be dealt with like any other dangerous fool.

  5. The general idea of exporting a resource on one side of the country while the other side is forced to import a markedly more expensive quantity of the same resource seems nationally self defeating.

    • Well, yes and no. Their goal is to increase the selling price. If they ship it east they would expect world prices, or they would just load it onto tankers and sail right by the eastern refineries.

      Plus it would likely cost quite a chunk of change to retrofit the existing refineries (or build new ones) to handle the heavier bitumen.

      Nonetheless, it’s definitely an option worth considering. And in any event I think we should be doing the refining in Canada and shipping finished product rather than raw materials to whatever markets want it.

    • There is less risk to the environment to ship it as unrefined. A spill with the refined stuff would be much, much worse.

      • Why on earth would this comment get one “arrow down”, let alone two. It isn’t an opinion statement. I guess when these folks don’t like facts, they ignore them.

        For the record, I would love refineries all over Canada, but it ain’t gonna happen. . .

      • I guess that settles it then – we won’t be building pipelines to transport oil in any form to the west coast.

        • Why?

        • ? The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline already exists. There is a project to “twin” it to carry twice as much filth through sensitive Port of Vancouver waters with only a couple meters clearance, eventually destroying Stanley Park (at these volumes a spill is simply inevitable). I don’t know who “we” is in your sentence either, certainly I am not a share holder of Enbridge, TransCanada or Kinder Morgan, nor employed by an Alberta Tar Sands company, nor do I recognize Mr. Harper as part of any “we” I am part of. He’s a petty criminal who stole his office, that’s it.

      • We’re obviously not going to agree to a scheme that poses even higher risks to one we’ve already rejected.

        • You won’t agree – doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. I am sure that you can agree that if it has to be piped, doing it in the most environmentally safe way would make sense.

          • Gateway ain’t gonna happen. Anyone who believes otherwise doesn’t understand the strength and depth of the opposition in BC.
            If we pretend for a moment that your premise is true – refined products provide even greater risk – pipelines for refined products are non-starters.

      • You should read up on the Kalamazoo spill and clean up.

        • I did. What was that supposed to tell me about the diference between shipping oil vs gas.

    • This is confused. Refineries produce extremely specific products that vary with the season, temperature, demand, etc., – pipelines tend to be specialized to move one type of product (usually crude). Also Canada is a legal fiction not an actual economic entity in itself, buik products usually move north-south rather than east-west as it is far cheaper for BC to trade with Washington State, Quebec with New York, NB and NS with Maine, etc.. Tar Sands filth is also not ‘the same resource” as light sweet crude from Saudi Arabia or Iraq. The day it arrives in NS, I’ll be going all-electric.

  6. ‘a string of encouraging polls’

    Now I know you’re not a fan of evidence based commentary here at Inkless in the sense that you have a no-link policy, and delete seemingly innocuous posts which feature links to such controversial websites as the Congressional Budget Office, so you’ll just have to take my word that the CBC reports that only 32% of BCers are opposed to the Enbridge pipeline as per Jan 5 2012 Ipsos poll. Folks can Google it.

    Anyway, that doesn’t sound like an encouraging poll, much less a string of them, but perhaps said string of polls exist in the same metaphysical plane as the ‘bunch of measures designed to clip environmental groups’ wings’ in C-38.

    I’m aware of one (1) such measure, arguably, namely increased auditing of sketchy “charities” doing political work outside of a regulatory framework for such things. Rewriting enviro assessment legislation might be one too, but given the 4,000 witness clown show that is the Enbridge hearing, those wings need some clipping. It is not tinfoil hatty to suggest enviro groups deliberately stall these sort of hearings and that has thankfully been corrected.

    Because the pipeline is trans-provincial, enviro assessment is federal – by which mechanism might BC block such a pipleline? Or Natives? A duty to consult does not confer a veto upon Native groups, nor does “sui generis” title.

    The main point you are trying to make is that BC and/or Natives could likely block the pipeline. If you’ve identified a legal way they can do this, I must have missed it.

    • “Of course, despite a string of encouraging polls, Dix isn’t the premier of British Columbia.”

      I’d love to know how you read this sentence and assume that the polls in question are about the pipeline rather than, I dunno, the looming provincial election in BC? The one where the latest polls put Dix and the BCNDP in majority territory with a 22 point lead over Clark’s Liberals?

      You do raise a good point about what legal avenues exist to stop the project should BC or the relevant Native tribes wish to do so. I’m not familiar with the current composition of the NEB (nor what the omnibus bill did to the review process) but presumably they still make the final call after whatever streamlined hearing process now exists.

      To the extent that new evidence of Enbridge’s safety track record, and any new objections raised by those whose land the pipeline would pass over, are relevant to the decision, do you think it might make it harder for the Board to decide in favour?

      • I, too, assumed it was thuddingly obvious I was referring to voter-intention polls.

        • What’s less obvious is how the Natives or BC will block this pipeline. But you’ve clearly figured that out, since that is the main point of your post. Please, share.

      • No; Cabinet now has veto power over NEB decisions. Harper hopes they will do his bidding in order to lend some legitimacy to whatever he wants to do, but in the end that’s what it boils down to… whatever he wants to do.

    • B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix mobilizes to nix Northern Gateway
      …“You can do a whole pile of stuff on the regulatory front that will increase the price to where it makes it economically prohibitive,” said one former bureaucrat, who did not want to be identified because of current contracts with industry. “The smartest thing to do from a political perspective would be to fight the thing in court because the delays will kill the project.”

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-ndp-leader-adrian-dix-mobilizes-to-nix-northern-gateway/article4414406/

    • Was that the poll done by Enbridge itself or the one done by the Ezra Levant Network? Because all the other polls show something quite different.

      And, by the way, Neil, these kinds of BS polls are harmful even to those who support the pipeline. You wouldn’t Alberta cowboys to try and force this one through and wind up with a load of buckshot in the ass, would you?

      • Good afternoon M.J. Murphy. I’m a bit surprised to see a hardline anti-free speech militant talking about shooting me, or anyone else who disagrees with you on Enbridge. I personally don’t believe that that sort of thing should be actionable; nevertheless, it is. Govern yourself accordingly.

        Maclean’s editors: please don’t delete our friend M.J. Murphy’s menacing shootin’ gun talk, it may come in handy in a number of ways.

        • I am of course referring to the fact that the greatest danger to national unity these days is an Alberta controlled federal government trying to force a pipeline on the proud people of B,C,, and to the hypothetical results of that unhappy decision. As for my part in what might follow–I would simply fly back home and chain myself to something next to proud BCer Rafe Mair and all the thousands of other proud BCers who would resist peacefully whatever forces Alberta and the Harper government might send against us. Other younger types choose might do more, however.

          I am also referring to the fact that these fake polls from Enbridge are intended to lull people like you into thinking that the only people opposed to your Alberta Imperialism are hippies and natives. All of BC has come together in recent months (Enbridge commercials are being booed when shown in movie theaters), and if you don’t want to fragment the West–if you want it to mean anything beyond whatever they define it as in Calgary–then you will turn inward and rethink your support for this project.

          • ‘The greatest danger to national unity these days is an Alberta controlled federal government trying to force a pipeline on the proud people of B,C’

            Thank you for your input from Upper Canada, but we BCers support the pipeline, as polls show, no need to force it on us. Alberta only has 7% of commons seats and forms a tiny percentage of Conservative caucus, 27 out of 167 seats won on election day., versus 73 seats from Southern Ontario. Alberta controlled my foot, it’s been an Ontario based party since 2006 and is led by an Ontarian.

            “hippies and natives”

            “Native” is capitalized in this context, rookie. Maybe stick to shootin’ gun threats, because evidence based argumentation clearly isn’t your bag.

            By the way, are you the same BigCityLib who tried to pin the Gifford shooting on conservatives because of gun talkin’ on the internet? I’d post a link, but Wells would get mad, so I’ll just quote you:

            ‘If Sarah Palin didn’t at some level perceive her own measure of responsibility for this tragedy, she wouldn’t have pulled that gun-site graphic from her Facebook page…If Glenn Beck didn’t at some level perceive his own measure of responsibility, he wouldn’t have scrubbed that image of him looking like a middle-aged, over-weight James Bond wannabe–holding, of course, a handgun–from his website.”

            Heaven forbid anything violent happens when Enbridge gets built, but if something does, we know who to blame. Now beat it.

          • There’s a difference between predicting and advocating, dimwit. It’s no different than saying there would likely be blood spilled if Quebec ever decided to separate. It’s a fairly logical conclusion that some would be injured by and angry enough over the damage to the nation and economy to take things into their own hands – but that conclusion in no way equates to advocacy.

            Unlike Palin and Beck, who were clearly pandering to a certain mindset.

          • This is even more incoherent than usual from you. Are you suggesting we blame Sarah Palin for any violence related to Northern Gateway? Have you gone mad?

          • And people think the protesters might get out of hand? Listening to the Neils, I’m more worried about their side.

          • I’ve always found that the quickest way to loose credibility in an argument was to be pedantic and start sharpshooting grammar; especially in forums where, let’s be honest, people don’t have time to edit. Coming in a close second is starting a post with the word “sigh”.

            You sir, win first prize.

          • What’s interesting to me is, with the exception of the Narnia commercials Enbridge is running (and people are booing), there has been no attempt to persuade and/or charm us into thinking the pipeline is a good thing for B.C. It’s been basically – either accept this or we shove this pipeline down your throats. Enbridge and Harper need to ask Gordon Campbell how successful this approach is out here.

          • “the greatest danger to national unity these days is an Alberta
            controlled federal government trying to force a pipeline on the proud
            people of B,C”

            Please, what a load of bunk. And for the record, this is not an Alberta/BC thing. This will help all of Canada, and it is obvious to anyone who researches.

        • Always amusing when people who know nothing make vapid, stupid threats.

          • By which of course, I mean young master Emondson here, rather than bigcity lib.

    • I think that Delgamuukw vs. HMTQ confers a larger obligation on the Crown than a duty to consult. It is closer to a veto than it is to a consultation. Or at least, the First Nations could convince a court to grant them an injunction and put it into the courts for the next decade.

    • Perhaps my favourite paragraph is the one where you say there is one (1) such measure, then list two.

      • My farourite paragraph of yours has yet to be written: the paragraph where you explain how either the province or Natives or anyone else will stop the pipeline, which was the main point of your post. I’m listening.

        • Neil, as a web developer, you’d know that comment boards aren’t the place where one goes to “listen”.

          Nevertheless, look below and read the G&M story I provided for your edification yesterday that should answer many of your questions: “B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix mobilizes to nix Northern Gateway”.

          I presume from your twitter feed that you’re neither an NDP nor BC Liberal supporter. Nevertheless, try taking off the blinders for a moment.

      • If there are ‘a bunch of measures designed to clip environmental groups’ wings’, then let’s see them, and not 1 or 2, but a bunch. They don’t exist, you’re merely weaving an unfactual narrative.

        Ending 4,000 witness clown shows is good for everyone except those who purposely wish to delay Enbridge, and when David Suzuki openly campaigns for Dalton McGuinty it’s perfectly reasonable to take a closer look at his and other charties to see if they are playing by the rules which restrict political activity.

        Neither of the aforementioned measures, unless you are Kreskin, can objectively be described as being “designed” to clip the wings of enviro groups, though they may have that effect.

        • “those who purposely wish to delay Enbridge…”

          You forgot to specify that it’s not “tinfoil-hatty” of you to make this claim. That’s some of your best work right there.

    • I find it odd when the exact people who agree with free market economies are the same people who deride environmental activism financed from funds outside the country and call them terrorists. You can’t nor should you agree to with the belief in free markets when it comes to foreign money for big oil yet find it appalling when foreign money goes to environmental groups. Either you agree with free markets or you don’t.

    • Neil,
      I must say that your post is the most intelligent thing on this page. I find it interesting that you are getting all of these ‘thumbs down’, yet no one has any intelligent things to counter your points.

      I guess it must really suck for them to be on the wrong side of an argument, yet really believe that they are right.

      • Due to the lack of space and time to argue all this dissent most ppl will Thumb down what they dislike and keep the reason to themselves…Soap boxing something as complicated as this issue is to say the LEAST is like throwing a pail of water on a forest fire….The People of BC obviously do not agree with this PIPE DREAM …Harper be damned~!!

  7. Build high speed rails not pipelines! More jobs, better for the Earth! Win Win!

  8. Every British Columbian, and their dog, knows there are huge oil and gas reserves sitting just off our coast. Yet because of huge environmental risk, we have been supporting a moratorium (ban) on Oil and Gas exploration and development off our coast for 41 years.

    In other words for 412 years British Columbians have been forgoing billions and billions of dollars in DIRECT oil and gas royalties to themselves and their province to keep oil and gas development away from it’s pristine coast.

    So why, in their right minds, would any British Columbian say yes to all the risks of a pipeline and oil tanker traffic, with all the benefits going to Alberta?

    • All of the benefits do not go to Alberta. The oil sands are benefitting all Canadians right now.

  9. Alberta should just buy BC and kick all the tree fu@*ers out and allow the sale of the product

    • And there you have it folks… core Albertan values in a nutshell.

      • Charming attitude isn’t it?

    • Yeh right … I think you have been inhaling too much tar sand fumes … You do know that it ain’t good for ya.

  10. Here’s the company Harper is so fond of, rewarding its executives for abuses of public lands and health http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/07/12/Enbridge-Executives-Pay-Raise/?utm_source=mondayheadlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=160712 “US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that corporate
    neglect fueled by a “culture of deviance” on safety issues at Enbridge
    caused an “organizational accident” that was preventable.

    The NTSB, an independent federal agency
    that studies the causes of accidents, said that weak and underfunded
    pipeline regulators played a role in the spill too.

    The company’s response to the pipeline
    rupture from the control room to spill containment was so chaotic and
    unfocused that the NTSB chair Deborah Hersman compared Enbridge’s
    negligence to the bungling of the Keystone Cops.

    The NTSB findings, which listed scores of
    deficiencies in management, pipeline safety, public awareness and spill
    containment, directly contradict company claims that Enbridge puts
    safety as opposed to growth and profits first in its extensive pipeline
    operations.

    A synopsis
    of the NTSB (the final report will be released later this summer) found
    that Enbridge “failed to ensure that all control center staff had
    adequate knowledge, skills, and abilities to recognize and address
    pipeline leaks.”

    Moreover, “Enbridge’s failure to exercise
    effective oversight of pipeline integrity and control center operations,
    implement an effective public awareness program, and implement an
    adequate post accident response were organizational failures that
    resulted in the accident and increased its severity.”"

  11. Even Tar Sands boosters are starting to think that Patrick Daniel ought to be fired and Stephen Harper with him:

    http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/07/10/Enbridge-Culture-of-Deviance/

    http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Federal-Politics/2012/07/12/oil-sands-threaten-brand-Oliver/

    http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Environment/2012/07/12/port-tanker-traffic-devastate-Stanley-Park/

    and it looks like even the Koch brothers are now pursuing a carbon tax,
    perhaps as a way to distract against the water and natural gas
    giveaways/subsidies, human health harms, direct river and ocean damage,
    and other non-carbon harms done by their Tar Sands investments
    http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Environment/2012/07/13/carbon-tax-AEI-koch-industries/

  12. Usually just having some giggles …….but sometimes Ya just gotta say sumpin~!! N back off grammar police It’s WEBTALK~!

  13. “Because the pipeline is trans-provincial, enviro assessment is
    federal – by which mechanism might BC block such a pipleline? Or
    Natives? A duty to consult does not confer a veto upon Native groups,
    nor does “sui generis” title. The main point you are trying to make is that BC and/or Natives could
    likely block the pipeline. If you’ve identified a legal way they can
    do this, I must have missed it.” – This point of view is pretty much pure racist fascist colonial fantasy. BC has jurisdiction over many aspects of the processes by which any pipeline would be built, including certification of trades, liability coverage and non-navigable waters, to say nothing of “environment” which includes the >1000 rivers the dirty oil would need to cross. The Yinka Dene have never ceded lands, nor signed the 1981 constitution either themselves, as the 100+ “First Nations” Canada divides them into (purely for divide-and-conquer purposes) using racist criteria (percent of “native blood”? really?), or as the Assembly of First Nations. They retain an absolute sovereign right by aboriginal title and by the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The law that applies is the Yinka Dene’s own sovereign law and also international law, not “Canadian” or even “BC” law. If the Yinka Dene want to bar Enbridge from their territory or tankers from their (unceded) waters, then police or military force by Canada or BC is the only way that it could be done. And who is going to do that, for Enbridge, or for Harper? Look how Oka turned out, and there the aboriginal rights were much more compromised historically. Don’t expect a different result re the Northern gHateway (so-called because it’s nothing but a racist hate project to exterminate native rights, and also a bluff to try to trick the US into approving Keystone XL which is more viable).

  14. B.C. should say: let us have our pot, and we’ll let you have your oil!
    “Even Steven”

  15. With the Premiers direct involvement on this file we are hurtling toward resolution. Bids are being taken for the wall construction…

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