Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There Will be Oil!

In celebration of one year as Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has gone ahead and approved the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain oil pipeline that runs into our fair ecosystem.
Once completed, the $.6.8 billion Trans Mountain expansion pipeline project will increase the capacity of existing infrastructure to 890,000 barrels per day, up from 300,000 bpd.  The 1,150 kilometre pipeline expansion would run from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., where it would pump Alberta-mined bitumen and synthetic product onto tankers which would sail through (local) waters for Asian markets.
There is no shortage of opinion out in the wilds of the Internet, and no doubt there are several court challenges to come, but at the end of the day our new eco-friendly PM has thrown in his lot with the petro producers of Alberta.

Several Lower Mainland municipal governments opposed this pipeline, as does our own local Tsleil-Waututh Nation, but it appears we're stuck with it anyhow.

At least the Premiers of Alberta and BC seem happy.

Local MP Jonathan Wilkinson, the parliamentary secretary to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, was quoted by CBC as saying,
"Within my riding there is a group that is opposed, and opposed and opposed, and will always been opposed," he said. "And then there's a group who's in favour, and in favour and will always be in favour. And then there's the vast majority, in the middle, who have legitimate questions and concerns that they want to ensure are addressed."
I guess that I fall into the first group, and would have been happier if a our shiny happy new Federal government had decided to work to eliminate fossil fuels and global warming.

Oh well, as they might say in Westmount, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

Too good not to add.


John Sharpe said...

Mayor Corrigan, Mayor Walton, and Mayor Robertson are all disappointed. Are our local politicians not recognized by the Feds? Seems to me that's the same as not recognizing local residents who will be most affected by an oil spill?

Liberal MP for North Vancouver Jonathan Wilkinson supports his government's decision on the twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Jonathan Wilkinson. I would never have voted for him had I known his views on the project. Perhaps they changed or were not revealed until recently.

Anonymous said...

I remember Wilkinson being against the Kinder Morgan project during the federal election.

Anonymous said...

I have not seen any evidence of Jonathon being in favour. He has been quoted as saying it is a divisive issue with many questions unanswered.

For me the constant question is, "Who receives the economic benefits?" Right now I see little benefit to British Columbia and absolutely none to the North Shore. So I am hesitant to support any megaproject that ends not 10km from where I live but provides me with no economic benefit but certainly comes with risk going forward.

I also remain mystified why we export crude oil to Asia and import refined oil from Washington State. That is the equivalent of creating a home layout in which the refrigerator is so far from the stove, that it is easier to cross the street to the Safeway to buy a new dozen eggs to make for breakfast than it would be to get the open container of eggs from the fridge!

John Sharpe said...

I wouldn't have voted for him either. I suppose that's my fault for not asking what Mr. Wilkinson's stance was. I just didn't want Harper back and undoubtedly we'd be looking at Gateway as well if he was elected. So I would've voted Green had I known better, but risk splitting the vote. Sounds like a vicious, catch 22 circle.

Voting reform please!

Anonymous said...

Corporations run government decisions (the tail wagging the dog).

Wilkinson doesn't want to lose his prized parliamentary secretary position. We only prove to postpone the inevitable when protesting pipelines. The only climate change strategy is the draconian carbon tax/cap and trade. Forgive us our sins and let us pay a pretty penance for it.

I believe that the Northern Gateway pipeline is not entirely "dead in water". Trudeau will become a one-term wonder, while Kelly Leitch (the Trump of Canada) wins the Conservative Party Leadership.

What else have I missed?

Anonymous said...

"I also remain mystified why we export crude oil to Asia and import refined oil from Washington State."

If that home refrigerator cost a billion dollars, then maybe you'd be glad of the Safeway across the street.

And of course with the present state of eco-terrorist organizations, you'd probably not GET that Safeway ( refinery ) across the street.

As far as the pipeline goes, Canada as a whole needs it and needs more.

The rampant environmental zealots that think plugging a small pipeline is needed in order to save the planet are missing the point.

The point is that China has surpassed the USA as the largest consumer of automobiles in the world. China's manufacturers also need plastic which is made from half the crude refined. You get purses, shoes, tool boxes, ballpoint pens, boats, footballs and so on from there. China's construction machinery, operating full time as it is, needs fuel too.

So if you think that shooting ourselves in the foot by stranding Alberta's hydrocarbons will reduce global emissions, you had better think what Asia might do when unable to buy them.
My guess is places like China will go shopping and find an alternate supply,let's say, from it's good friend Mr. Putin.
Xi Xinping: 'Vladimir, those stupid Canadians are stranding their health care, transportation,
research dollars, pension plans and education system and we'll be short of hydrocarbons for gasoline, diesel and plastic injection factories. Could you supply?'

Vlad Putin:'We'd be GLAD to!! Why we're already drilling the Arctic seabed for more oil so we will surely be able to supply'

That's my take on it. Mine the stuff in Alberta or drill the Arctic seabed. Either way, China gets its demand filled. You choose what's better for Canada and the world.
'Why sure

China has the 3rd largest coal reserves in the world, from which it could produce coal gas or synthetic crude if it had to.

Anonymous said...

Two kinds of politicians.

1. The kind that tells you they are going to do something unpopular (closing Coast Guard station - Harper) and, in spite of strong opposition, does it.

2. The kind that tells you they are not going to do something unpopular (approving Kinder Morgan - Trudeau) and, once in power and in spite of strong opposition, does it.

I prefer #1. At least I know what to expect.

Anonymous said...

I prefer #1 as well, rare as they might be, but either way you are likely to have to choke down a lot of things being done you aren't pleased with.

Anonymous said...

Justin was with his Dad on the train in Salmon Arm when Pierre famously flipped the bird to 3 protesting BC Liberal voters. After that the Trudeau train traveled through BC being pelted by tomatoes, fruit and eggs and was dubbed, "The Caesar Salad Special."

Once again BC gets flipped the bird by a Trudeau. I guess the salad didn't agree with him.

Anonymous said...

I like the Caesar Salad story.

I'm dreaming up a salad for Vision Vancouver as I write!

Anonymous said...

"I also remain mystified why we export crude oil to Asia and import refined oil from Washington State."

Welcome to liberalized trade. I have a competitive advantage here, so I take market share to offset the trade imbalance over there where I do not have a competitive advantage.

Washington State, and the US as a whole, has way more capacity to refine than they consume, so they sell that extra capacity at a price that makes it economically, not feasible to build your own capacity. As soon as the cost rises enough that it would be cheaper to refine it here, then you will see proposals from industry to do just that.

Anonymous said...

I went to an all-candidates meeting in Seymour during the election and Terry Beech was asked about his support for Kinder Morgan. He refused to say whether he supported it or not, instead he said the process was tainted because the Conservatives where Cheerleaders where they should have been Referees, a mantra that was trotted out by Trudeau again this week. Beech said the Liberals would create a new process, and wouldn't approve the pipeline without the support of local government or First Nations. The Conservative said that this was effectively a veto and said it was no way to run national projects because it would result in every community demanding their local pound of flesh, their provincial pound of flesh, on top of the existing national royalties, making every project uneconomical. The NDP candidate and the Green candidate were angry that Beech refused to answer whether he supported it or not.

In the end the Liberals did not replace the 'tainted' process, they added a panel of people with a mandate to ask the opinion of people that were excluded from the NEB hearings, fair enough, but then they summarily ignored them, didn't get local consent, and didn't get first nations consent. What really irks me is that they complained about the conservatives being cheerleaders and demanded that they stay out of it and let the process proceed without political interference and then they went ahead and announced from the Prime Ministers office that the project would go ahead while the others would be refused. If that isn't political interference I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

The NSNEWS article today says that Beech is ignoring media requests and instead is having a constituency office open house this Saturday. I suspect every protest group will be happy to visit his open house.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm just a skeptic, but there are five Liberal MP's on the Burrard Inlet. Goldsmith-Jones, Wilkinson, Beech, Fry, and Murray. Four of the five were added to cabinet just this year, (obviously the election affects that to be fair), and the remainder Hedy Fry, was made the Chair of her committee and makes a handsome extra stipend. All of them have something to lose if they speak out against the pipeline.

Was this by design? Were three rookie MP's given cabinet positions for their support, and virtual silence on this $6.8 billion project?

Anonymous said...

Fry has spoken out against the pipeline.

Anonymous said...

So Fry, the only one out of cabinet, has spoken out against it. Got it.

Anonymous said...

So the Liberals 'didn't get first nations consent'.

Just to be clear, they don't need such consent. They have only a duty to engage in consultation with local FN parties.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely correct, however, they agreed during the campaign to a different standard, 'we must get the support of first nations before proceeding' sticks in my mind. So yes they meet the legal standard, and no they have not met the standard they set for themselves, and they have certainly stabbed the first nations in the back.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me, 1:53, that the 'standard they set for themselves' ( and interpreted by yourself) can only be met with 100 percent FN agreement on the actions being considered.

I mean as soon as you get one NAY you have a betrayal, right?

There is no doubt that the Feds are playing politics here, but honestly, do you really think that if one 'first nation' is deeply resistant to, say , a pipeline that the rest of the country must be held hostage? And if you say yes, then how do you deal with the other 'first nations' that have agreed to the pipeline? Are not then their rights being equally confiscated?

Anonymous said...

Interesting questions.

There will always be those for and against virtually every private and public initiative. The ethnic background of the Canadians is an emotional lever really important to some folks but overdone in my opinion. The more appropriate points are the 2 questions of the rights of land owners, regardless of race, and the greater economic good for all Canadians versus the threat of long term environmental damage.

In the case of the natives, their tribal land ownership is held in trust by the federal government (see The Indian Act), so the duty of care by the government is high and they must take every reasonable precaution to ensure the continued welfare of their land.

Oceans and foreshore rights fall to the jurisdiction of the federal government administered for the people of Canada. Again it is up to the government to ensure the welfare of those areas in the best interests of all Canadians.

And Canadians disagree so it is up to the federal government to decide those best interests.

Anonymous said...

Yes, again, I personally agree, however, that is not the standard set during the election. The Conservatives were pilloried for acting unilaterally with First Nations and the Liberals said they would get consensus, Terry Beech went beyond that and said he would not proceed without their support, which is effectively a Veto, but point to one single Lower Mainland band that supports the pipeline? If there is a consensus for this region amongst FN, it is clearly in opposition.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the 9 FN bands referred to in the PROVINCE article this weekend should count against any supposed consensus.

Anonymous said...

Interesting the tach Terry Beach is taking. He was also against the Kinder Morgan twinning during the last election.

Interesting politics with Trudeau and his MPs around Vancouver who are now all slightly elevated since their election.