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Thread: Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline - Pro's and Con's

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    Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline - Pro's and Con's

    Hey guys, I know there has been much discussion on this forum about the proposed pipeline(s) from AB to BC's coast. I wanted to start a thread focused on the pro's and con's so that people can come to there own conclusion on how/if this project should go ahead and how the tarsands should/should not be developed at all. There are often economic and environmental reports cited by proponents and opponents so if you have a link to those reports could you post them here. Any relevant articles would also be appreciated. Facts and figures with supported documents would be ideal.

    I attended a breakfast meeting yesterday morning and heard Robyn Allan speak about the economics of the pipeline proposal. She has written a full economic assessment that can be found here: http://www.robynallan.com/wp-content...ry-31-2012.pdf

    Her summary during her speech yesterday was great. Very factual and concise and supported by analysis by experts in economics, etc. I encourage all of you interested in this to read the full report above. Here is a link to her website with other reports, articles, etc - http://www.robynallan.com/

    Looking forward to getting a good collection of fact-based reports, opinions and articles in this thread. Many of you on this forum are quite informed on this subject so I'm sure we can get some great info here.

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    Here is the open letter written to Premier Clark by Robyn Allan:

    April 19, 2012

    Dear Premier Clark,

    Your government has not spoken out for or against the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed by Enbridge Inc., rather preferring to wait until the National Energy Review Board process is complete. I am writing to you today to explain that, unfortunately the current Northern Gateway environmental and public interest process is flawed and as a result the public interest of BC is not protected.

    The Federal government, as I am sure you are aware, has publicly endorsed the project, stated it is in the national interest of Canada, and has systematically demonized individuals and groups who oppose the project. This behaviour has made a travesty of the necessary arms length relationship between government and an independent regulatory body.

    As long as there was some sense that the Joint Review Panel (JRP) was independent and had the authority to reject the proposal regardless of the political pressure imposed by the Prime Minister’s Office, a semblance of due process was maintained. That necessary condition was violated when Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver unveiled proposed legislation on April 17, 2012.

    The Federal Government now intends to further weaken environmental protection and favour large oil companies operating, primarily, in Alberta. This has betrayed any remaining trust in federal energy decisions as they relate to the province of British Columbia.

    With the overhaul of the environmental assessment rules and process, and making final decision on oil pipelines—such as the Enbridge Northern Gateway and proposed Kinder Morgan projects—a Federal cabinet prerogative, there is no confidence that the Government of Canada will make decisions that will be in the best public interest of the residents of this province.

    A major change in policy in the midst of nation breaking events such as Northern Gateway or Kinder Morgan requires deliberate action on the part of your Office to protect the public interest trust and rights of BC residents and First Nations.

    Certainly when the NEB process for Northern Gateway commenced in June 2010, the BC government thought the JRP would be objective and have the power to recommend a binding decision which would reflect the public interest of British Colombians and Canadians. I can imagine that the safety and efficiency inherent in one independent review body—which the NEB was believed to be at the time—and the belief that our public interest would be protected were reasons why the Liberal government of BC under the leadership of Gordon Campbell, felt it acceptable to sign away our right to conduct an environmental assessment under B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Act.

    During my review of the Enbridge economic documents as part of their Application to the NEB, I wondered why there was no real or meaningful review of their case by various ministries of the BC government. The deliberate intent in the Enbridge documents to increase the price of oil for Canadian consumers and businesses, and the lack of concern over the impact our petro-currency has on forestry, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, appeared to be glaring examples of an economic case intent on presenting only the benefits to the oil industry without due consideration to the economic costs for the rest of us. The development of a strategy to export raw crude to Asia at the cost of value added jobs and control over environmental standards also seemed worthy of provincial comment.

    I felt surely, there should be professional economists, paid by taxpayers, that would stand up and present a fair picture of the macroeconomic impact rapid resource expansion and export has on the economy of British Columbia, not to mention the threat to the environment and First Nations rights. That is when I discovered that BC had signed away the right to actively assess the project. I then understood that not only have you, as Premier, elected to remain silent on the issue, but our provincial departments have effectively been muzzled as well.

    I draw to your attention the Environmental Assessment Equivalency Agreement signed between the NEB and BC’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) on June 21st, 2010. I have attached a link to the agreement for your ease of recall.

    Essentially the agreement states that the EAO will accept the NEB’s environmental assessment for four proposed projects, including the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, which would otherwise have to be reviewed under BC’s Environmental Assessment Act. The NEB’s review would be treated as an equivalent assessment.

    If the province of BC had not signed away its right to the NEB, under the terms of the legislation the EAO would have had to undertake a review. According to the EAO, it is a “neutral agency that manages the review of proposed major projects in British Columbia, as required by the Environmental Assessment Act. The environmental assessment process provides for the thorough, timely and integrated assessment of the potential environmental, economic, social, heritage, and health effects that may occur during the lifecycle of these projects, and provides for meaningful participation by First Nations, proponents, the public, local governments, and provincial agencies.”

    We have the power within BC to undertake meaningful environmental assessment within provincial jurisdiction, but signed it away. However, not all is lost. Clause 6 of the Environmental Assessment Equivalency Agreement states: ”Either Party may terminate this Agreement upon giving 30 days written notice to terminate the other Party”.

    May I recommend that the Government of British Columbia inform the Government of Canada that the province is now exercising its right with 30 days notice in order that it may undertake a proper environmental assessment under the terms of the provincial Environmental Assessment Act, for the Enbridge project, and it will not entertain signing such an agreement for the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline.

    This action will ensure that the public interest of the people of BC will be protected and will not be severely curtailed by the actions of the Government of Canada favouring primarily Alberta’s oil producers.

    Sincerely,

    Original Signed by Robyn Allan

    Robyn Allan

    cc. Dr. Terry Lake, Minister of the Environment

    Mr. Adrian Dix, Leader of the Opposition

    Mr. Rob Fleming, Environment Critic

    Mr. John Cummins, Conservative Leader

    Mr. John van Dongen, Conservative MLA

    Mr. Bob Simpson, Independent MLA

    Ms. Vicki Huntington, Independent MLA

    What can you do? If you would like Premier Clark to reserve the right for British Columbians to decide what is in our public interest and whether or not Northern Gateway and the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline should proceed, please write to her. Ask that she take Northern Gateway off the list of projects under the Equivalency Agreement with the National Energy Board and that she make it clear that when Kinder Morgan applies for approval, BC will exercise its right to conduct its own review process on behalf of the people of our province.

    The email address is premier@gov.bc.ca. It is also helpful to cc your MLA.

    Sincerely,

    Robyn Allan

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    Tincan,

    From a quick look at this website, Robyn Allan is a pretty heavy hitter and she appears to be coming out pretty strongly against the pipeline and is very concerned with the process as Harper is trying to steer and control it. I'm going to read her report in detail as it contains some strong arguments.

    As I see it, this project is not just about the pros and cons, but who gets the benefits of the "pros" and who gets to bear the consequences of the "cons".
    It is very clear to me that all the benefits (pros) go to China, Alberta, and Enbridge stock holders. All the risks and consequences (cons) are borne by the people of BC, the First Nations, and the environment of BC and the west coast.
    To my mind, this project therefore is a major ethical question - should one section of the population or country benefit, to the huge detriment and at the expense of the social, economic, cultural and environmental damage to another section of that same population or country???

    BTW - what was the breakfast meeting you attended? Who organised it?
    Last edited by Englishman; 04-28-2012 at 08:19 PM.

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    mabe bc government could get enough money from enbridge to buy vancouver islandbackbefore chinadoes.
    Last edited by bee15; 04-28-2012 at 07:29 PM.

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    Just take a look at the results of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Oil and water do not mix. It should be a no go.
    I have been told my signature is too old, anybody have one I could use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tincan View Post
    Hey guys, I know there has been much discussion on this forum about the proposed pipeline(s) from AB to BC's coast. Looking forward to getting a good collection of fact-based reports, opinions and articles in this thread. Many of you on this forum are quite informed on this subject so I'm sure we can get some great info here.
    Northern Gateway is a con being pulled off by a bunch of pros.

    The proposed pipeline will transport about 79 million barrels of oil daily from Alberta to Kitimat, where it will be pumped onto tankers for export to Asian markets. Of course this pipeline only affirms Harper's disdain for the science of climate change and his aversion to any green energy initiatives. It will allow China's economy to benefit, once again, with our resources. The review process has been compromised: the federal government has unilaterally moved to change the rules and B.C.’s sovereignty is now threatened with subordination to the interests of Alberta and Ottawa while input from provincial departments has effectively been muzzled.

    “The federal government, as I am sure you are aware, has publicly endorsed the project, stated it is in the national interest of Canada, and has systematically demonized individuals and groups who oppose the project,” Allan writes. “This behaviour has made a travesty of the necessary arm’s length relationship between government and an independent regulatory body.

    The Northern Gateway pipeline will boost crude oil prices $2 to $3 per barrel annually over the next 30 years, causing significant damage to consumers, businesses and the Canadian economy. She says the price shock will have "a negative and prolonged impact on the Canadian economy by reducing output, employment labour income and government revenues." She says it represents a "serious economic risk" to the Canadian economy.

    Allan said when the price of oil rises, that means consumers and businesses will pay more for anything produced by that oil. That will result in inflation, business being down-sized and employees being laid off, she said. The price of oil in Canada is estimated to increase as a result of market diversity and exposure to global pricing. Allan said Enbridge has exaggerated the benefits of the pipeline and played down the economic effect of price shock on Canadian refineries and businesses and consumers. "They used the wrong model to answer the question of what will happen to the economy when Northern Gateway is successful in raising oil prices," she said. Allan, named by the Financial Post as one of Canada's top 200 CEOs, said she wanted to present her information to the hearing panel and question Enbridge on its model, but was denied intervener status.

    In December 2011, Nature Canada and BC Nature submitted written evidence to the JRP regarding the deficiencies of the environmental assessment studies submitted by Enbridge. The evidence shows the many ways in which marine birds, Important Bird Areas, terrestrial birds at risk and woodland caribou may be negatively affected by the pipeline project. Three experts helped us identify the flaws, biases and gaps in the analysis done by Enbridge and show that Enbridge’s claims that the project will not cause significant damage to marine birds are unfounded and that the claim of limited impact on Woodland Caribou is also wrong and based on an incomplete assessment.

    Dozens of parks and protected areas in B.C. would be at risk of oil contamination if there was a spill from the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. A paper, written by a team of scientists from Raincoast Conservation Foundation, the University of Victoria and the University of Calgary, found that a spill could affect parks hundreds of kilometres away from the pipeline. Although the pipeline would not cross any parks, two are within 50 metres. Most are at risk because the 670-kilometre B.C. portion of the pipeline includes 591 water crossings, 532 of which bear fish, researchers found. The Fraser River watershed, with the most economically valuable salmon runs, contains the most parks at risk.

    The construction of Northern Gateway – and the proposed twinning of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline System – will reduce the number of jobs available in Canada, contribute to a deteriorating trade imbalance, increase Canada’s indebtedness in the world, and make it impossible to meet either BC’s or Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. The propaganda from the pipeline proponents suggests their projects will enable all of us to continue to enjoy health care, education, pensions and other government services. .

    Focusing on the resource extraction currently planned for BC and other parts of Canada creates negative effects on Canada's trade balance and debt. In 2010, the resource sector contributed 11% of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product), employed 755,000 workers, accounted for more than half the value of Canada’s exports, and attracted a quarter of all capital investment, at roughly $80 billion. Canada is the world’s top exporter of potash, the second-largest exporter of uranium, newsprint, wood pulp and softwood lumber, the third-largest exporter of nickel and natural gas, and the largest foreign supplier of crude oil to the U.S.



    That seemingly good news is not without a down side. In his report "A Cure for Dutch Disease: Active Sector Strategies for Canada's Economy" Jim Stanford says our reliance on resource exports has led to an appreciated Canadian dollar which has contributed to the loss of manufacturing jobs. It has also led to Canada's deteriorated trade balance as the growth in resource exports cannot replace the decline of exports from the manufacturing, tourism, and service sectors. 

Because Canada no longer exports enough high value goods and services internationally, we're becoming increasingly indebted to the rest of the world for the goods we import. This in turn has led to the worst productivity decline in Canada's economy in the post-WWII period.

    However, it is not a case of these pipelines or nothing. $5 billion invested in green jobs and industries would create between three and 34 times the number of direct jobs compared to investing it in pipelines and oil sands extraction. (Enbridge Pipe Dreams and Nightmares written by Marc Lee and published in March 2012 by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reveals that the expansion in the number of petroleum extraction industry jobs has offset barely 3% of the 627,000 manufacturing jobs lost in Canada since 2000.) If the full costs of carbon emissions from extraction, processing and combustion were counted, the pipeline would likely be uneconomical. While private gains accrue to the oil and gas industry, huge costs will be borne by Canadians, economically and in more degradation of their environment and the quality of life.
    Last edited by Foxsea; 04-28-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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    next to the forests in the amazon, the boreal forests of AB represent the largest CO2 collector on the planet. as a part of the oil sands mining, these boreal forests are being destroyed. and as you well know, given the very short season of growth, these forests are NEVER coming back. not only is this dirty oil a problem, the rape of the environment must also be factored in to the destruction that is going on right now. our grandkids are going to pay a heavy price for all of this short term money grab.

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    Foxpro check the numbers 79 million daily does not work. More like 6-700,000 barrels daily. At 79 million I am going to buy shares.
    Bad info and numbers will not help the issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by reelfast View Post
    next to the forests in the amazon, the boreal forests of AB represent the largest CO2 collector on the planet. as a part of the oil sands mining, these boreal forests are being destroyed. and as you well know, given the very short season of growth, these forests are NEVER coming back. not only is this dirty oil a problem, the rape of the environment must also be factored in to the destruction that is going on right now. our grandkids are going to pay a heavy price for all of this short term money grab.
    More boreal forests have fallen to fire than we touch with the oilsands and logging is doing more damage.
    Reelfast , every time you spout misinformation I will challenge you. Greenpeace is really out to lunch.
    I have been told my signature is too old, anybody have one I could use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunsmith View Post
    More boreal forests have fallen to fire than we touch with the oilsands and logging is doing more damage.
    Reelfast , every time you spout misinformation I will challenge you. Greenpeace is really out to lunch.
    right, tell that to your grandkids.

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