Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Elizabeth May's Perfectly Reasonable Compromise
What if we could sort out the Athabasca Tar Sands in a way that would eliminate most of the hazards of that Carbon Bomb, increase employment and wealth in Canada, and at least improve our grandchildren's odds of a viable future? All of those things can be achieved, just not in the way Alberta and Ottawa and a bunch of sketchy Enron alumni in Texas insist it must be done.
DeSmogBlog has an op-ed by Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, in which she outlines how we can have those benefits. It begins by heeding the insights of the last great premier of Alberta, Peter Lougheed.
Trudeau and Notley aren't interested in an approach that would so benefit Alberta, Canada and our younger generations. It was suggested by BC premier Jon Horgan when the three recently got together for a fly-by conference in Ottawa.
It's a simple idea, one that dawns on a good many people when they're first introduced to the perils and problems of exploiting Athabasca bitumen. A few years ago, during the reign of our lord, Harper, I laid it all out to a dear and longstanding friend, a lifelong Ottawa Tory. He listened attentively, asked a few questions for clarification, and then said something to the effect of, "That's ridiculous. Why don't they just refine the stuff right there in Alberta?"
Why not indeed?
Here's the thing. Whether you raise this idea with Trudeau or Notley or any previous prime minister or Alberta premier as far back as Ralph Klein the reaction is the same. They turn into zombies. They say no but never explain why not. They might mutter something about excess refining capacity in Asia just waiting for an armada of dilbit laden supertankers only that doesn't appear to be true at all. (lying and dilbit always seem to go hand in hand)
Once Alberta's Athabasca bounty is transformed into fully refined petroleum products - oil, gasoline, petrochemical products - most of the pipeline problem disappears. Better yet, Canada gets to supply the Canadian market with Canadian finished oil products. And our grandkids' future will be a bit brighter.