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.


Anonymous said...

Now you see why just about every oil producing nation has a national oil company. It's a lot easier to make such things happen when you're not depending on the kindness of strangers.


Toby said...

Canada is owned, mostly by US companies. Isn't Free Trade wonderful?

Trailblazer said...

Out of the ashes a phoenix rises!



Anonymous said...

Yup, the Cons couldn't wait to privatize Petro-Can when they came to power, and the Libs then sold Canada's last remaining stake in the company. What a wasted opportunity.


Trailblazer said...

KM would not commit to a long term ( 15yr) agreement to ship oil with CN and CP who offered more rail cars for a long term agreement.
Shipping by rail would have got KM off the hook for $billions of pipeline construction.
Why no long term commitment?
We can only guess!


Anonymous said...

They don't want to dirty their own environment? Let someone else take on all the shiq.

Trailblazer said...

The sad part is that Alberta hated Petrocan and a made in Canada oil supply; now they think it's a wonderful idea!!


John's Aghast said...

I ain't no Elizabeth May, but a few years ago I questioned the rationale for sending our resource to a foreign country for processing, adding profit and selling it back to us. I was told 'refineries cost too much', as if pipelines and shipping costs didn't, much. Anyway, its reassuring to know I was on the right track even if I am dumber.
I was also advised there was no money in processing our own timber.

Jay Farquharson said...

It's not oil, at worst, it's Dibit, at best, it's bimuten,

Alberta doesn't want to have to deal with the waste and toxic byproducts, or regulate and manage their safe disposal or storage.

Owen Gray said...

the solution has been staring us in the face. And it's been doing that for a long time.