Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Speculation is Over. Trudeau Backs Bitumen.

He's real good when it comes to the low hanging fruit - the long form census, missing First Nations women, that sort of thing.

He's something else when it comes to the hard calls, the issues that require integrity, vision and leadership. You know, things like selling $15-billion worth of death wagons to the war criminals of Saudi Arabia. Or supposedly 'reluctantly' supporting the Tory resolution condemning the BDS movement led by the United Church and the Quakers.

Any lingering doubt was dispelled today when Justin Trudeau proclaimed his support for the extraction, transportation and marketing of the hands down, highest carbon, heavily contaminated ersatz oil in the world - bitumen and the hazmat pipelines that will carry the crud to less than scrupulous offshore markets.

“We want the low-carbon economy that continues to provide good jobs and great opportunities for all Canadians," he told a crowd of hundreds of business, civil society, and science innovators.

"To get there, we need to make smart strategic investments in clean growth and new infrastructure, but we must also continue to generate wealth from our abundant natural resources to fund this transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Did you get that? We're going to fund some magical transition to a low-carbon economy by peddling high-carbon tar that credible science demands be left in the ground untouched. It's time to say it - Justin Trudeau is just another bullshit artist.

"Indeed, as we encourage people to by more fuel efficient vehicles, as we invest in public transit and green infrastructure, we are trying to move towards lesser reliance on fossil fuels," he explained. "That’s what the planet requires, and quite frankly, that's what Canadians are expecting of us."

I expect that is what we were expecting, at least those of us who thought he might turn out to be another Harper in more stylish, brown shoes.

You know, Junior, it's much clearer when you think of bitumen as another toxic product from Canada's past - asbestos. There was a time when, for the safety of Canadians, we banned its sale and use domestically but looked the other way while it was exported to places without our high, ethical standards. That was a despicable thing to do. Same, same with bitumen, Junior, and your fanciful concerns for 'what the planet requires' are utterly hypocritical.


In reflecting on this prime minister's remarks I'm struck at how easily they could have been uttered by his predecessor. Harper would not have hesitated to lay it on thick about how we need to generate bitumen bucks to fund some illusory transition to a low-carbon economy.

Pierre Trudeau had a motto - "reason over passion." This Trudeau needs one of his own - perhaps "whatever" would do.


Toby said...

We lived through many years of Harper refusing to attend any meeting of Premiers. Trudeau has only been PM for a few months and he already has the Premiers sitting down together and talking to each other and to him. Considering the Harper years this is a big recovery. Unfortunately, where they are all at is about fifteen years ago. The greenhouse gas problem is more urgent than they are recognizing. We have to keep pressing.

Hugh said...

BC's carbon tax is great, except for the fact that emissions are increasing:

"During her speech at the Globe conference, Ms. Clark acknowledged that B.C. emissions have begun to increase"

the salamander said...

.. thanks Mound..

Fact A - I'm looking for ways to loudly point out propaganda, failed journalism, political bullshit, deflection & deception. My position starts with Environment - connects immediately to Truth & Reality - leads to Expectations that paid Public Servants must be Accountable, Competent & fulfill their Job Description Responsibly.

Fact B - So when Big Energy & elected Politicians went after Canada's Environment & Species which includes human beings, I was outraged, and decided to get involved, go proactive.. get informed. So here I am years later Climate is Changing

Fact C - I want Stakeholders, Media, Partisans & Politicians etc to be identified - ideally with any real credentials & the terms, lexicon, definitions, descriptions, terminology, facts they quote etc must be simple consistent accurate & honest

Here's several invented samples of what I see as dangerous per the above 3 Facts - for now I will use the proposed Energy East Pipeline Project in the samples, but my concerns are far reaching.. and not just about one pipeline

Sample # 1 "Energy East will get our unfairly discounted Alberta crude to eastern refineries which are swamped with foreign oil'

Sample # 2 " Canada's future is bleak if nation building projects like Energy East to deliver western oil are not approved by Trudeau so we can have national energy security, thousands of high paying jobs and a strong economy"

Sample # 3 "We must seize the glorious opportunity of pipelines to tidewater and open up Asian markets for our energy resources, ensuring our economy is wealthy & prosperous for all Canadians, otherwise our competitors will lock us out of this opportunity"

Mainstream Media has become a headline echo chamber providing free word bite propaganda, confusion & conflation. A recent poll suggests approx 60-70 % of Canadians approve of Energy East. Is that so? What % of those polled can differentiate the terms, definitions, descriptions or facts regarding Energy East?

Who profits, who is subsidized & how much & by whom (taxpayers of course) seems a great mystery when words like Nation Building, Wealth, Security start flying

So... words, phrases, catchall terms, conflations, lack of facts etc are disastrous to Canadians.

Dilbit is not Oil. Tidewater = Supertankers. Eastern Refineries require Cokers for Dilbit. Oil Price is relative to Benchmark Oil Prices. Diluent (refined petroleum product) to liquify Bitumen is imported to Alberta. Pipelines are not Nation Building. Western Canada Select = Dilbit. WCS current price is approx $ 22.00 - Benchmark WTI West Texas Intermediate approx $ 35.00 Pipeline Cost Alberta to Gulf Coast approx $ 7-10 per barrel. Approx 1/4 of refined Bitumen becomes toxic high carbon Petcoke. Koch Bros = Tar Sands. Pipelines always Spill. Silicate sand for Fracking is an imported carcinogen. Alberta Dilbit price Differential to Brent Crude is based on Value. India wants Dilbit. China is building Refineries with cokers. Coker upgrade may cost 2 billion. Gulf Coast refineries have cokers. Ontario refines Alberta Dilbit. 90% of Energy East is aged natural gas pipe reversed for undisclosed % of Dilbit vs conventional oil. Cost to move $20.00/barrel Dilbit to Saint John, New Brunswick supertanker port is over $10.00/barrel. Dilbit spilled is essentially non-recoverable toxin. Quebec refineries cannot refine dilbit. Supertankers can reach Quebec.

The Mound of Sound said...

Wonderful news today, Sal. While the Dauphin and our premiers would consign us to a diet of dilbit, an agency of the US government created by Barack Obama has announced the long-awaited breakthrough in battery technology has been achieved. Cheap, efficient and scalable battery technology now exists, the long awaited key to mass scale renewable energy. We could have all new electrical grids within 10 to 15-years. The best thing is that this destroys our political caste's final excuse for clinging to fossil energy. From here on in that's all bullshit.

America and the Obama government should be justly proud of this achievement. Of itself it's enough to make up for many of their failings. Meanwhile it's Canada's lasting shame that we didn't dare to emulate them or at least get our government behind their race. Like it or not, Trudeau has tarred himself with that same brush.