Pipelines for Canada

The executive order by the American President to approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline is so-so news for Canada.  Keystone is only beneficial if our domestic pipelines don’t get built to tidewaters.
We’ve had this ongoing problem in Alberta’s oil patch since Leduc #1, letting the Americans dictate the price we get for our crude.
If we get our oil to tidewater, it can then be sold at the Brent world price for crude which is consistently higher than the American price of crude (West Texas Intermediate).  Because of this price differential, our bitumen/oil heading south means Canadians are, and have been for decades, subsidizing American corporate profits and their energy consumers.
In turn when Canadian oil is refined in the southern States, they, not us, get the jobs and have access to all world markets.
That’s why the recently approved Kinder Morgan, Canada’s pipeline to the West Coast is much more beneficial to Canadians than either the Keystone or the recently approved Enbridge line to the U.S. Midwest.
In the same vein, the Energy East pipeline is of huge importance to Canada.  First, in tandem with the Kinder Morgan pipeline, it opens access to both coasts and every major and emerging market in the world.
This access is critical now that America is looking inward.
Second and very important Canada would become completely self-sufficient in energy. Eastern Canada would no longer be tied to imported oil from volatile countries in Africa and the Middle East.
The coast-to-coast pipelines are as important to Canada today as was the railway in the 19th century.
Cross-country pipelines falls under federal jurisdiction. As such, the federal government will have to stand up to the self-serving city mayors and premiers to get it done.
They have shown a willingness to do this on other files such as mental health, so there is some optimism that this will happen on the energy file as well.
The federal government must challenge hypocritical thinkers such as Montreal’s Mayor Denis Coderre who fights to dump billions of litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River yet turns around to argue the possibility of a pipeline rapture is an environmental risk too big to take.
Many environmentalists do not understand why both Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Notley are championing these pipelines.
It’s simple, as political leaders they must be long-term thinkers and planners.
Wise government leaders understand you cannot kill a significant source of economic activity (fossil fuel industry) until the replacement source is available and affordable.
They are also very mindful that the environment is on critical life supports and not doing anything is far more expensive as the frequency of catastrophic weather events continues to grow exponentially.
The challenge to manage the environment and jobs is a balancing act not for the faint of heart. Both sides, climate deniers and environmentalists, adamantly believe there is no compromise.
Businessmen, anarchists, absolute monarchists and dictators all have the power and motivation for zero compromise, one winner, many losers.  But, in a country with the rule of law and democratic elections, one winner takes all is never a doable option.
Self-centered, singularly-focused goals are completely contrary to the tenets of any sound, functioning democracy.
Thank God Canada still has that democracy!

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