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Enbridge, the Calgary based oil company, continues to create political headaches for politicians in both the United States and Canada.  BC Premier Christy Clark has finally taken a position on the Northern Gateway pipeline, which would ship oil from the Alberta tar sands to the Northern BC Coast in Kitimat.

To be kind about it, the Premier is being foolish and has little understanding of the file.  Premier Clark and her BC Liberals have released five points of contention with Enbridge and the Alberta Government, which they claim must be addressed before British Columbia will endorse the pipeline project, which is currently estimated to be worth six billion dollars.

The demands, http://www.bcliberals.com/... are a nonsensical list of unconstitutional demands of another province, combined with environmental guarantees already required under the National Energy Board review that will potentially approve or deny the project.  

These pointless demands have come during a meeting of the thirteen Premiers of Canada, and has led to tension at a meeting where the dominant theme was supposed to be health care and the creation of a truly national energy strategy.  Instead of being a committed voice in favour of sustainable economic development of our natural resources, Premier Clark has unilaterally removed British Columbia from the national energy plan http://www.theglobeandmail.com/... meaning that any strategy involving the tar sands won't have the benefit of influence from British Columbia, which currently is one of the most environmentally friendly governments and provinces in the country.  

Naturally, the Alberta government has been unwilling to share oil sand royalties with British Columbia, correctly noting that to do so would completely change the balance of federalism in Canada.  Historically, provinces that 'assume risk' in commercial ventures are not due any resource royalties from the producing province, and to do so now would create a precedent where every province could create tolls for shipping goods across borders.  Premier Clark is now attempting to get Alberta and the federal government to negotiate, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/... and is likely to be denied.

The reason for this posturing from BC Premier Clark is simple; politics.  The Premier and her party are trailing the BC New Democrats by more than twenty points in the polls, and the public is deeply opposed to the Enbridge line.  The BC Greens and NDP both oppose the pipeline without exception, and now the Liberals have decided that they'll oppose it, unless they can get the ransom they want.  The BC public isn't falling for such a transparent game.  

If the Liberals are opposed to the pipeline like they say, then they should simply oppose it instead of proving that they're willing to be bought off for some money.  Same if they support the pipeline, just support it instead of prostituting the province off.  Sadly, that isn't in the nature of the BC Liberals, who are eager to sell off everything of value in the province in order to fuel their ideology and personal greed and corruption.

7:39 PM PT: Thanks to both Canadian Kossacks and Community Spotlight for the republish, I'm honoured.  

Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM PT: A former federal environment minister, David Anderson, is now publicly urging the BC Government to reject the Northern Gateway project, stating that Enbridge is "Probably the last company" that should be allowed to build an oil pipeline across British Columbia.  

Grand Chief Stewart Phillips has also promised blockades and other civil disobedience against the pipeline, should it be built without any First Nations consultation as required by law and constitutional precedent.  This promises to become ugly and unpleasant if that happens; British Columbians still have raw memories of Clayquot Sound and the blockade there.  

Finally, a quick shout out to everyone who recced this diary, thank you all, it's very kind of you.

Originally posted to BC Progressive on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 02:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Canadian Kossacks and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (36+ / 0-)

    My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

    by BC Progressive on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 02:40:18 PM PDT

  •  Could the pipleline leak in BC? (9+ / 0-)

    If so, then BC is assuming a risk in allowing a pipe to run through the province. Thus:

    Historically, provinces that 'assume risk' in commercial ventures are not due any resource royalties from the producing province
    Would support the argument that they are due royalties.

    That said, the liberals should also be opposing it outright, not crafting weasel-worded pseudo-opposition.

    •  High risk of leaks (11+ / 0-)

      Especially in light of the last one that happened just a few days ago.

      In regards to royalties, BC still wouldn't be due any of the royalties that Alberta is getting from Enbridge, which is what Premier Clark wants.  Clark has basically asked Alberta to give BC money in exchange for taking on that spill risk, which is unprecedented in Canadian federalism.

      The correct thing to do, as outlined by pretty much everyone involved in the issue up here, is for BC to take up the issue with Enbridge itself and to tax the corporation in order to recupe that money.  Not to attempt to basically tax a fellow province.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

      by BC Progressive on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 03:16:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heard on the radio (8+ / 0-)

      the other day that Enbridge has had over 800 spills/accidents since the late 90's including a massive spill in Michigan that is still not clean up satisfactorily.

      BC needs to stay as far away from this bitumen carrying pipeline as possible.

      I don't understand why governments don't all model their energy/oil policies after Norway which is what Alberta originally did.  At least until the Conservatives started robbing the Alberta Heritage Fund to pay for all their crappy economic decisions.

      •  Alberta PCs changed (5+ / 0-)

        And the BC Liberals are just a confused mass of Not NDP voters.  

        That's exactly why the government is half-assing its way through the Enbridge fiasco.  We don't even have government status in the decision-making process.  The Liberals didn't apply in time, so we're just a regular intervenor, the same way any citizen could be.

        My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

        by BC Progressive on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 09:36:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I feel like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BC Progressive

      I'm missing something:

      Historically, provinces that 'assume risk' in commercial ventures are not due any resource royalties from the producing province
      Would support the argument that they are due royalties.
      Is this maybe a typo, or am I just having a hard time clearing the fog this morning?    ;-)

      "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

      by Bcre8ve on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:37:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the province "assuming risk" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BC Progressive

        is what qualifies it for royalties, then the risk of leaks within the province would qualify the province for royalties.

        Thus the statement that the province is not due royalties if the pipeline goes through is either incorrect, since they would, indeed be assuming risk; or there is some other reason for excluding the province from royalties.

        •  That is not how it works (3+ / 0-)

          Risk does not qualify a province for any royalties whatsoever, especially not from one province paying another.  I think my original statement was unclear, so I will rephrase here; British Columbia isn't due anything from Alberta, that's just Premier Clark trying to hold the project hostage.

          My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

          by BC Progressive on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:32:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Enbridge leak in Wisconson on Saturday (9+ / 0-)

    After 2 years and almost a billion dollars the Enbridge leak into the Kalamazoo River has been mostly cleaned up.

    But now a new leak of 1200 gal in Wisconsin

    The U.S. pipeline safety agency launched an investigation on Saturday into an oil spill in Wisconsin on Enbridge Inc's network that forced the partial shutdown of a main artery carrying light sweet Canadian crude to Chicago-area refineries.

    Enbridge's 318,000 barrel per day Line 14 pipeline, part of the Lakehead system, was shut after an estimated 1,200 barrels of oil were leaked. This happened almost two years to the day after another major spill in a different section of the line, in Michigan.

    •  Money fixes it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fiddlingnero, KenBee

      Right?

      That's the logic of our Premier, that if you pay her government enough money, she won't care about any damage done to the rest of the province.  They're going to lose all but two seats in the legislature anyways, what do they care, they won't have to deal with it anymore.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

      by BC Progressive on Sun Jul 29, 2012 at 09:33:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't worry, Kinder Morgan will step in and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BC Progressive

    fill the void:

    Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) (KMP), the second-biggest U.S. pipeline partnership, is increasing the planned expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline in response to customer demand to move oil across Canada.

    Kinder Morgan will spend $5 billion to bring the pipeline’s capacity to 850,000 barrels a day by 2017, according to a statement today. That’s $2.2 billion more than the company said it was planning to spend on a smaller expansion in January.

    The 1,150-kilometer (714-mile) pipeline system stretches from Alberta to Vancouver, providing the only access for Canadian oil to reach the West Coast, Houston-based Kinder Morgan said. The system is currently capable of carrying 300,000 barrels a day and Kinder Morgan announced plans to double that to 600,000 barrels a day in January.

    link
    •  It's being talked about locally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      The Kinder Morgan pipeline goes travels about a five minute's walk away from my house.  The maps used to identify its location were improperly created, so during construction on a property in 2007, workers hit the line and ruptured it.

      We're not all that thrilled about KM Trans Canada either, but at least it has the benefit of already having the right of way.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

      by BC Progressive on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:14:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did you notice you have a recommendation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BC Progressive

    from Meteor Blades? He doesn't hand out many of those.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:35:38 AM PDT

    •  I had not! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti

      I got caught up in the comments, and had not noticed who rec'd me.  

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

      by BC Progressive on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:38:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your responses to the comments (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BC Progressive

        helped make the issues clearer, and I was grateful for them.

        The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

        by ybruti on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:52:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity, ybruti

          I realize my original diary didn't make an awful lot of sense to non-Canadians or people who hadn't been watching the slow implosion of the BC Liberals.

          It really is like watching the Titanic in slow motion, this has been 3 years of agony for them.

          My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

          by BC Progressive on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:05:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for a bit of a (sad) update from up North. (2+ / 0-)

    Our family visited Victoria, BC almost 10 years ago, and I was impressed with the little bit of Vancouver I saw, as well as Victoria.  Drove there from Seattle in a rental car, after taking the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle.  It would be a shame to allow that dirty crud into that area, as it was the natural beauty there which made it a very pleasant time for us there.

    Sadly, the worst of our politics appears to be migrating up there, eh?

    -8.88, -7.77 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

    by wordene on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:39:12 PM PDT

    •  It could have been worse (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wordene, KenBee, radical simplicity

      Earlier in the year, the Alberta Progressive Conservatives beat back challengers on their right wing, the Wildrose Alliance.  Those people are scary, almost caricatures of what Conservatives have become, except they exist.

      If you've only seen the south shores and been impressed by it, you have to go up north and into the interior of BC.  I don't get to go much myself, but it's absolutely gorgeous.  Forests as big as oceans, and they want to slam a pipeline through it all.  Such a pity.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

      by BC Progressive on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:49:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BC Progressive

    I missed the whole thing being caught up in the International Softball tournament in Victoria BC.

    The statement above bothers me though:

    British Columbia, which currently is one of the most environmentally friendly governments and provinces in the country.
    in view of British Columbia opening up the west coast to this
    Shell, Asian energy giants to build largest LNG [Liquid Natural Gas] plant in B.C.
    And the fracking producing that natural gas in Northern BC is one of the biggest fracking operations on the continent with 16 wells in a row all in danger of linking together. But that's another story.

    "environmentally friendly" NOT.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:33:48 PM PDT

    •  Look at its competition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena

      I'm hard pressed to find any other province that's remotely environmentally friendly, and at least in 2013 when the NDP takes over the carbon tax will start being used properly, as in for infrastructure upgrades.

      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

      by BC Progressive on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:56:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BC NDP are in favor of fracking (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BC Progressive

        and fracking is my issue right now.

        Yes, BC is more environmentally friendly than AB, that's true. But that's a pretty low standard. I can't argue about the other Provinces' environmental records, you may be right about that. But believe me, the fracking issue is big and you are going to hear more about it as BC's water becomes contaminated.

        It's another diary though and I commend you for this one.

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:17:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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