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.