Originally published in a Resource Works' email newsletter on the morning of August 27th, 2015. Sign up to receive email newsletters on the main page of their website: http://www.resourceworks.com/
you, comedian Groucho Marx, for this definition: “Politics is the art of
looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and
applying the wrong remedies.”
are 54 days to go until federal voting day on Oct. 19, plenty of time for
political leaders to do all of the above—and to change their minds, or finally
make them up—on key energy issues.
far, only the Conservatives and Greens have spoken clearly on the big pipeline
issues: Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan, Energy East and Keystone XL. In a
nutshell: Conservatives yes, Greens no.
leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau are both against the
Northern Gateway line through BC, period.
they have taken no such definitive position (yet) on the other proposed
pipelines. Both say they proposals should go through a more rigorous review
process than the current National Energy Board examination.
initially appeared to support the Energy East pipeline from Alberta to New
Brunswick, but he later backed off. He now says it needs a more stringent
review—and that such reviews should also take into account whether the projects
would significantly increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions.
leader Justin Trudeau says we do need to get our oil to markets, and that the
alternative to pipelines is oil by rail “which nobody wants across the
country." But he, too, proposes tougher reviews, and “a better process of
getting community support and community buy-in.” The NEB, he says, has become
politicized and if elected he would strengthen and reconfigure it.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
the candidates in your constituency where you want them and their party to
stand on pipeline and energy issues. Not all candidates have yet been named,
but for those who have been selected, you can (if you persist) find contact
been interesting to watch a provincial politician, Marge McCuaig-Boyd, settling
into her new role as Alberta’s NDP energy minister.
began by recognizing that there is uncertainty in Alberta because of plunging
oil prices and a new NDP government that has promised a review of Alberta’s
is a good time to do a royalty review. Industry is down. We have time to talk
to them and we have time to be prepared for when we move on.” She even said
that Alberta might (might) be open to offering economic incentives to oil and
paper from a political scientist and energy scholar from the Manning Centre
identified 13 specific policy risks posed by the NDP government to Alberta’s
oil and gas sector. “The fear is ‘death by a thousand cuts,’ and the mood is
we learn that McCuaig-Boyd told a private
gathering of oil and gas executives it’s time Albertans “quit apologizing
for our oil industry because we are the best.”
she went on to cite a Fraser
Institute report that found moving oil and gas by pipeline in Canada is 4.5
times safer than transport by rail.
can't wait for her to go public with such points.