Harper says pipeline projects like Energy East important for job-creation - Macleans.ca

Harper says pipeline projects like Energy East important for job-creation


QUEBEC – The Keystone XL pipeline would create jobs in Canada and the United States and ensure North American energy security, Stephen Harper said Friday after U.S. President Barack Obama suggested the long-lasting job effects would be minimal.

“In terms of the Keystone pipeline, the perspective of this government is very clear, it is very well known by everyone in Washington,” the prime minister said in response to a reporter’s question about Obama’s remarks.

“Our No. 1 priority in Canada is the creation of jobs and clearly this is a project that will create jobs on both sides of the border. It is, in our judgment, an important project not just for our economy and job creation but for the long-term energy security of North America.”

Harper didn’t elaborate on how many jobs would result but has said previously that construction of the controversial 1,800-kilometre pipeline would create about 40,000 jobs.

The U.S. State Department draft environmental analysis agrees, but estimates only about 35 permanent and temporary jobs would remain once the pipeline is fully operational.

Obama told the New York Times in a recent interview that Keystone XL would create “maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline,” and added with a chuckle it would sustain “somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people.”

If approved, the $7-billion pipeline would carry millions of barrels a week of Alberta oilsands bitumen as well as crude extracted from North Dakota’s Bakken shale to Gulf Coast refineries.

Harper said it is important for Canadians to benefit from the country’s energy products and that projects such as TransCanada Corp.’s Energy East venture are good in principle.

The Energy East pipeline would deliver up to 1.1 million barrels per day from Western Canada to refineries and export terminals in Quebec in late 2017 and New Brunswick one year later.

The $12-billion project, which still faces regulatory hurdles, has the support of the Alberta and New Brunswick governments but it’s not clear yet whether Quebec has been won over.

“There are approval processes to look at environmental effects, the economic issues, to look at all those things and to come to independent evaluations,” Harper told a news conference in Quebec City where he announced the redevelopment of an historic path in the city.

“But obviously we think it’s a good idea in principle in terms of selling our energy products. We need to sell our energy products. It is, I think, a good idea that we find pan-Canadian solutions so that all of this country benefits from our energy products and that we enhance our own energy security.”

He was aware of Quebecers’ sensitivity concerning the transport of oil following the July 6 railway disaster in Lac-Megantic where fuel-laden tanker cars derailed and exploded, killing 47 people.

Harper insisted that any transportation projects in Canada will be subject to a rigorous independent analysis of environmental impact and safety issues.

“I think the reality of anybody who looks at the business is that the absolute safest way to tranport energy products is through pipelines,” Harper said. “That’s the safest way you can go.”

Critics have already vowed to fight Energy East, which they describe as unsafe and unlikely to deliver on job creation and energy security promises. That position has, in part, led to repeated delays for the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States.

Warren Mabee, a Queen’s University assistant professor specializing on energy issues, said Energy East is TransCanada’s easiest option.

He pointed out TransCanada (TSX:TRP) is optimistic about the environmental assessment and already has some infrastructure in place.

“I think the fact they are moving more aggressively on Energy East now reflects the fact that not only is Keystone going slowly, but also there’s a real, pent-up need for more pipeline capacity, particularly given the rail derailment in Lac-Megantic,” Mabee said.

“There’s better support for pipelines right now and I think they are trying to strike at that.”


Harper says pipeline projects like Energy East important for job-creation

  1. As an economist, he makes a great burger-flipper

    • Its why he is working for wages and someone else. If he was any good he would be self employed and working for himself.

  2. What no usually avalanche of we hate harper comments :) – what’s happening on web forums lately – I don’t get it – since 2006 when he first won web forums have been chock a block full of venom and haters and the usual gangs of wingnuts who have drank far too deeply of whatever party’s kool aid they drink! – in fact I have noticed a pattern – the more thumbs down anything positive about Harper the more likely he will get re-elected – it must really suck to be so frustrated in life and angry at a polticain that you spend so much time and energy complaining about him only to watch him get re-elected – In fact I have absolutely no doubt that should he decide to run again he will get re-elected – so now thumb me down and post hateful replies folks

    • You realize what you’re smoking is illegal, right?

      • I am sure he qualifies for the medical weed.

        • Probably….I dunno why he thinks ‘Harper hater’ would upset people though.

          Maybe it’s all part of their belief that the more people hate him, the more people will vote for him.

        • Probably licensed too. Smoking too much of the product for sure. But like most daytime posts, unemployed criminals run the boards, just look at CBC as they are a magnet for criminals, ex-cons and the idle welfare types.

    • So you’re doing comedy now – refreshing change.

  3. I’ve often wondered why the West-East pipeline hasn’t been pursued more aggressively. It will fix the price differential between Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude and will benefit Alberta and Central/Eastern Canada. This project has the potential to be the 21st century version of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

    • Because it was called the NEP in 1980

      • This pipeline has absolutely nothing to do with the National Energy Program. Under the NEP the federal government set the price of oil within Canada below market prices essentially subsidizing the cost of fuel at the expense of Alberta.

        The need for this pipeline is purely economic, not being forced upon Canadians the government in an attempt to control the economy. The economic need for this is created by the price differential between Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude. In addition, this will benefit all regions of the country. Alberta will benefit from obtaining the higher Brent crude oil price, while Easern Canada will likely benefit from lower oil prices and reduced requirement for purchasing oil internationally.

        The fact that you could even compare a purely free market demand for a pipeline to a failed top down attempt to control the economy is absolutely unbelievable.

        • Oh, are we going to play ‘let’s pretend’ again? What fun!

          The east already pays the world price for oil….if we can’t get it any cheaper from Alberta, then there’s no point buying it.

          Plus we will have paid for more pipeline…which makes the cost even higher.

          The only reason this is even being considered is that Alberta can’t unload it’s oil anywhere else….it’s another ‘help-Alberta’ scheme. just like the oil subsidies…..free market?…snort

          • From an environmental perspective, the pipeline will displace oil tankers delivering Brent crude to refineries in Quebec via the St. Lawrence river.

            From a human rights perspective, purchasing oil from Alberta means that you’re supporting an industry that pays people (more than) fair wages within Canada. This is instead of supporting countries with terrible human rights records.

            From an economic perspective, Eastern Canadians will likely benefit from cheaper than Brent crude prices because of the extra transportation costs to get oil to world markets, In addition, there will be the added employment in refining in Quebec and Atlantic Canada. There has also been talk of additional ports or upgrading existing ports to ship excess oil internationally. This of course is without mentioning the temporary construction jobs while the pipeline is being built.

            This is not a help Alberta scheme, this project will benefit the entire country.

          • You owe me a new keyboard!! I just sprayed coffee all over it!

          • Yep, and at AB, SK, MB expense.

            This is like telling Ontario auto they can only ship cars in Canada. But you know with Ottawa it is a one way street for the west, just pay lots of money to Ottawa and get very little in return.

            Time for western Canada to ditch their federalist premier plants and get separation in motion. We would litterally save $100 billion in federal taxes (all sources) to ditch Ottawa and most of it would end up in our pockets, as provinces could get more too to cover what little Ottawa does for us.

          • So reducing tanker traffic on the east coast is seen as a positive feature, but adding them on the west coast is not a problem. Call me confused.

        • It does. If it were “official” as NEP II, it could drive separation so this time they are being a little more sly and deceptive. If you limit where the west can ship resources, you can suppress prices and that is what is going on. They don’t call it NEP II but it is in fact the same as NEP….

          And why I support separation as the west needs to be more than a tax colony for central and east. Ottawa works against us, just see a workers pay check to see why.

      • I call this NEP II. Constrain market access and suppress prices as we don’t have world market access.

        Without Pacific access, Redford should say no deal. Call the bluff. And while I am conservative, I don’t vote for Harper Conservative as he is really still a Young Liberal of Canada.

    • Not really. To fix the western Canada crude prices you need fair and economical acccess to the Pacific rim. Then the whole world becomes your market.

      Plus less risk of a NEP II scenario where western resources have a limited market they can push prices down. Just like NEP but with a different angle. Reality is Redford is selling out Alberta by not demanding Pacific access as a prerequisite to east-west. Hey, I am for east-west, but after we get Pacific access.

    • Disgusting. If we had government with real vision we would embrace broadband internet (wired and wireless) as the technology of the 21st century to unite Canadians. Instead we have the worst broadband in the developed world.

      Information technology is the real job creator of this century, not dirty energy.

  4. The west is being sold out. As the most valuable access is still denied, that is Pacific coast access. This is like a sly NEP II setup, limit where we can ship resources as to suppress pricing like a tax.

    Fact is if Redford had any guts, she would say she is OK with east-west AFTER we get Pacific coast access. But back room corrupt politics wants the west locked in.

    Part of why I have and continue to reduce investments in Canada. Over all the TSX says we have a deadbeat depreciating economy. And my offshore investments have outperformed Canada now for 4 years now. Next thing you know the idiots on Ottawa will complain that we are not investing….show me the money, I want returns above inflation+taxes and currency depreciation.

    • Maybe she could even hold her breath. She still won’t get more tankers on the coast, though.
      It’s not our problem that Alberta is landlocked.

  5. Why do they want to use Fake currency to buy up your assets, to make
    sure as a nation own nothing, you become landless peasants, look what
    they did in Russia under the Bolshevic Revolution, 75 Million people
    killed to create Communism, many simply starved to death, its what they
    are doing in Africa hence the Famines, people chased off their land. No
    man must sell anything in their country to a foreigner, you must own
    & control your own country, thats propper Law, no Church is going to
    feed you.

  6. Let’s keep in mind that oil will be going to Spain and India from New Brunswick.

    Who else sees positive news in this? More Alberta Crude to these places means less crude from Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and so forth.

  7. nwo