I am very perplexed at the pipeline phobia spreading in our province. The pipeline to take oil from the oil sands to the Port of Kitimat is one issue, but now there is resistance to the proposal to increase the size of the pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver, and even the upgrading of the supply pipeline to take jet fuel to the Vancouver airport.
The pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver, built in 1957, runs through scenic Jasper National Park and down Yellowhead to Kamloops and then on to Vancouver. So, why is there resistance to upgrading this 55 year-old pipeline? There has never been a problem with this pipeline. The owner just wants to increase the capacity of the pipeline which will be built in accordance to new tougher regulations.
Compared to the rail alternative, the proposed Gateway Pipeline from Edmonton to Kitimat, in my opinion, is a far better means to transport crude oil from the oil sands.
Any pipeline built today in Canada has to conform to the strictest environmental regulations in the world. Canada is a net exporter of natural gas and oil and it is good for our economy to develop new markets rather than to rely solely on the market south of the border.
Logic and historical facts tell me that pipelines are a safe and effective way to transport oil and gas, so why the phobia? Some opponents to the pipelines state that there is a risk for a spill. With that logic, we would not use airplanes to travel. Yes, there is a risk to flying but technology has mitigated most of the risk making it a safer way to travel. Could the underlying resistance be related to a back door approach to stopping the Alberta Oil Sands Development?
If this were the case and the same people are against development of new mines, and the harvesting and management of our forest resource in British Columbia, please help me resolve the issue of how government is going to pay for all of their demands for government services without any tax revenue?
In your government’s ‘Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity’ Budget 2012-2013’ we have streamlined the Environmental Review Process for various natural resource developments. The government did not compromise the regulations, but simply made the process timely. Five, six or seven years of process to hear a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decision is not acceptable. Our actions taken will not make the process less stringent or environmentally irresponsible, but will cut duplication and minimize the obstruction tactics used by some to compromise the applicant’s right to a timely due process.
My comment is not meant to endorse any application but to assure constituents that any decision is based on a scientific analysis not a demonstrator’s phobia for pipelines. The decision will also consider the net economic value to the region and Canadians.
Colin Mayes, MP