The Tyee's petro-scribe, Alberta's own Andrew Nikiforuk, systematically debunks every popular lie these characters like to spread about Trudeau's damned pipeline and bitumen's dismal future.
To most coastal British Columbians there's a real malice that emanates from the petro-state's campaign of deceit whether that's from Alberta, Saskatchewan or Ottawa.
I urge you to follow the link and read it in its entirety. For now, here are a few teasers:
According to some of the more ridiculous claims, environmentalists are to blame for bitumen price discounts, Vancouverites are being punished for their orca-loving ways with high gasoline prices, and climate change really doesn’t matter.
Their politicians don’t dare admit the reality — that combined overproduction of bitumen and U.S. tight oil brought down the global price of oil with a thundering crash in 2014. In the world we inhabit now, oil business as usual has died.The plot to thwart bitumen sales to China.
The facts are these: Over decades the U.S. has built more than half of the world’s heavy oil refining capacity in the Midwest and Gulf Coast for a variety of reasons.
Asia owns but 23 per cent of global capacity to refine heavy oil. It’s not willing to pay more for bitumen than the U.S., because it costs more to ship it there.
Alberta’s low royalty policy encouraged the industry to strip and ship diluted bitumen instead of adding value by building more upgrading facilities and complex refineries.
The province’s dependence on U.S. markets and pipelines is a direct product of what was billed in 2006 as Alberta’s “give-it-away” strategy.Obstruction of Trans-Mountain has left BC with a fuel shortage entirely of its own making.
Most of the gasoline consumed in B.C., the nation’s fourth largest market for refined fuels, is made by four Alberta refineries and moved along the existing 65-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline. Less than 10 per cent of the province’s gasoline comes from refineries in Washington State.
(An historical note: when the Trans Mountain pipeline was built in the 1950s, Vancouver supported four refineries, but as the line exported more oil to U.S. refineries, local refining died off in the 1990s with the exception of Parkland, formerly Chevron, in Burnaby.)
The Vancouver market has no ready access to refined products brought by sea, so it is a price taker. Economist Robyn Allan calculates that neither taxes, nor scarcity of supply, fully explain why the region has some of Canada’s highest gasoline prices.
A study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives suggests Alberta refineries have been price gouging Vancouver consumers since 2010, because they can do so due to lack of local competition.
...To date, high prices have had a predictable effect: B.C.’s per capita consumption of refined petroleum goods is 11 per cent below the national average.Bitumen is the "beating heart" of the Canadian economy.
That’s a big laugh.
Despite 47 per cent growth in Canada’s oil and gas production since 2000 — largely from the tar sands — royalty payments to government have declined 59 per cent, notes respected energy analyst David Hughes.
So, too, has the industry’s proportional contribution to GDP.It's "Ethical Oil."
According to data from Natural Resources Canada, taxes paid by the oil and gas industry since 2006 have dropped from $12 billion to $6 billion*.
There is light oil and heavy oil, but no refinery has ever begged for ethical oil.
That’s because it doesn’t exist. If Alberta has done such a “moral” job of regulating its resources, what happened to its rainy day fund?
And if the industry has behaved so ethically, why will Alberta and Canadian taxpayers likely be on the hook for cleaning up and decommissioning $260-billion worth of abandoned wells, pipelines and gas plants?
How ethical is it to allow an industry to set aside funds of $1.6 billion to cover hundreds of billions of dollars in liabilities?
New research says that “carbon dioxide emission intensities for oil sands facilities are 13 to 123 per cent larger than those estimated using publically available data.”Let's do the math. A quarter trillion dollars of unfunded remediation costs versus six billion dollars a year* in royalties to the Alberta treasury. Imagine finding a bar that lets you run a tab for 43-years. That's 43-years worth of royalties.
Is that an ethical development?
Myth: Every day Canada loses 30 to 40 million dollars from a shortage of pipeline capacity. That's a lie, one of Junior's favourites.
To illustrate the grandiosity of the claim, just consider the finances of Suncor, one of Canada’s largest bitumen miners. If the industry were losing so much money every day, you’d expect Suncor to be bleeding, too.
But that’s not what its financial statements say.
In fact, Suncor has been recording tidy profits for years, because it mines, upgrades and refines bitumen into a variety of refined products.
The company also hedges against oil price volatility and heavy oil discounts. Even with mandated provincial cuts in production, the company produced396,000 barrels of bitumen in the first quarter of 2019, with net earnings of $1.4 billion compared to $789 million in 2018.
Husky and Imperial Oil, the province’s other big producers, also reported healthy returns this year.
...So don’t try bullying British Columbians with fictional losses produced by fictional pipelines.
Alberta’s three major bitumen producers make money regardless of pipeline politics, because they do everything Alberta failed to do: they hedge, add value and refine.US-funded environmentalists are waging a campaign to block Canada's access to Asian markets. They're out to sabotage our economy.
No conspiracy existed. The campaign largely focused on bitumen’s distinct character. Such crude has higher energy costs and an extreme carbon footprint compared to conventional oils.
Alberta’s remains one of the world’s dirtiest oils, with emissions 102 to 204 per cent higher than average U.S. refinery crude on a well-to-tank basis that includes all the emissions from mining, upgrading and refining.Here on the coast we know these truths. We see the malicious lies, and they are malicious, spun by Ottawa and the oil provinces for what they are, an attack on us and on our coast. The threats make their malice even more intolerable.
That’s why Alberta’s oil was targeted. Period.
And given that oil sands production has increased 376 per cent since 2000, and overall oil and gas production has grown by 47 per cent in Canada, “the alleged foreign funded attack” has been damn ineffective, notes analyst Hughes.