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John Ivison: On resource development, Trudeau risks repeating the sins of his father

‎Today, ‎February ‎7, ‎2018, ‏‎3 hours ago | John Ivison

Three years ago, the leader of what was then Canada’s third federal political party made a major pre-election speech on the environment. The location was symbolic.

“I’m the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, my last name is Trudeau and I’m standing here in the Petroleum Club of Calgary,” he said. “I understand how energy issues can divide the country.”

The speech was in large measure a disavowal of his father’s National Energy Program — and a pledge never to repeat the mistake.

“A federal program that harms one part of the country harms us all,” Trudeau said.

We will see Thursday if the prime minister lives up to that promise when the government unveils new environmental assessment regulations that will govern natural resource development. But the early signs are not promising.

The carbon tax regulations that came out last month are very different from the model outlined by Trudeau in his speech in Calgary three years ago. Critics such as former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall have already warned that the cumulative effect of the tax and the new regulations could heat up a Canadian unity debate that is already bubbling because of the pipeline issue.

“How is this different from the National Energy Program, in terms of the reality of what it will do to jobs and pipelines and so on?” Wall asked.

Trudeau’s speech in Calgary was interesting because it suggested a decentralized approach to carbon pricing. “The federal government does not have all the answers,” said Trudeau. He advocated a “medicare” approach, similar to the principles in the Canada Health Act, where provinces had considerable flexibility as long as those principles were honoured.

Ottawa would establish emissions reduction targets and then allow provinces the flexibility to achieve those targets, including carbon pricing policies. The feds would even provide “targeted funding” to help provinces achieve their goals, similar to the Canada Health Transfer.

At the time, the Conservatives were vexed — it seemed like Trudeau had adopted Stephen Harper’s less centralized view of the federation, and they were loath to jump on it.

But, like so many other promises made before the election, this one has not survived the transition from party platform to government policy.

Under the government’s pricing regulations, each province has to adopt Ottawa’s rising carbon tax or be forced to accept the federal backstop.

The regulations also allow the federal government to spend any carbon tax revenues as it sees fit, as long as the revenues go back to the province in which they were raised.

The “targeted funding” transfers remain illusory.

It seems likely Western provinces will be further alienated by the new environmental assessment regulations, if they follow the principles outlined in a discussion paper made public last year.

That paper suggested the new regulations would go far beyond assessing the environmental impacts of resource projects to also consider the social, health and economic aspects, including gender-based analysis. Wall called the new impact assessment criteria “subjective” and “nebulous.”

Government officials said developers would find out what is expected of them earlier in the process, before they end up in court. But resource companies would have to recognize Indigenous rights and interests from the outset.

In his 2015 speech at the Petroleum Club, Trudeau talked about the “genius of Canadian federalism,” where provinces show regional leadership to move Canada forward.

But we are at a delicate moment in time where the federal system does not look quite so robust or inspired.

None of the recalcitrant provincial governments relish the carbon-pricing provision that sees them excluded from the distribution of its tax revenue. Few will appreciate federally imposed regulations that could hinder investment in Canada’s natural resource sector.

Yet in the one area where the federal government has clear jurisdiction — interprovincial trade and transport — it has been timid.

Though federal regulators have waved through the Trans Mountain pipeline, the Government of British Columbia is trying to block its expansion. Trudeau has said he supports the pipeline but has not asserted his authority by saying Ottawa will overrule any further delays. In some ways, this is a matter for the project’s proponent, Kinder Morgan, the B.C. government and the regulator, the National Energy Board. (If B.C. enacts regulations to delay the project, the company would likely appeal to the NEB to assert its authority.)

But the country is looking for leadership from the prime minister. Many voters in Alberta seem to believe he is merely paying lip-service in his alleged support for the project, with no intention of risking his political capital.

Beyond the prospect of losing votes in B.C.’s lower mainland, it’s not clear why he has not been more vigorous. There is certainly sufficient financial incentive. As economist Trevor Tombe pointed out Thursday, there is now a $30 discount on every barrel of Western Canadian Select crude sold to the Americans (the only market it can reach without new pipelines) — with each dollar costing Canada $300 million a year.

This hell-broth of government policy — animation on taxes and regulation, lethargy on promoting resource development — is raising hackles across the West.

Those who don’t remember history are, it’s said, condemned to repeat it. The younger Trudeau does remember the NEP, and yet he is still repeating its central premise.

The only difference this time, as Prof. Jack Mintz said in the Financial Post, is that instead of subsidizing consumers in Eastern Canada, Westerners are now subsidizing Americans.

• Email: | Twitter: IvisonJ

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Can B.C. really stop the Trans Mountain pipeline, and how can the federal government make sure it is built?

‎Today, ‎February ‎7, ‎2018, ‏‎1 hour ago | Brian Platt

OTTAWA — An extraordinary provincial trade war is kicking off in Western Canada, as B.C. threatens to block Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion through the use of environmental regulations. Alberta has already responded by ditching talks about importing B.C. electricity and cutting off B.C. wine imports.

But the fight really boils down to the B.C. government versus the federal government, as interprovincial pipelines are the jurisdiction of the National Energy Board. The Trudeau government and the energy board have already approved the Trans Mountain expansion, subject to 157 conditions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the pipeline expansion from Edmonton to Burnaby will be built — and repeated that at a protest-filled town hall event in Nanaimo, B.C., on Friday. But Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is demanding Trudeau do more to fight B.C.’s threat to block the project through regulatory hurdles.

What legal steps could Trudeau take to ensure the pipeline goes ahead? He does have some heavy constitutional weapons to deploy, but there are other events that are more likely to happen first.

If B.C. does bring in a regulation to restrict the flow of diluted bitumen while studies are done on spill mitigation (for now, the province only says it intends to consult on such a regulation), it’s very likely it would ultimately be deemed unconstitutional.

“A province cannot impair a federally regulated undertaking,” said Robin Junger, the former head of B.C.’s environmental assessment office and a former B.C. deputy minister of energy. He now works in private practice at McMillan LLP. “Can they put certain conditions on it? Yes. But if the effect is to stop it, it won’t work.”

In the meantime, Kinder Morgan could simply proceed with construction and dare B.C. to take them to court, Junger said. But it’s much more likely the company would seek a declaration from the energy board that the provincial regulations violate federal jurisdiction and are thus inoperative.

The company has already done something like this, when the City of Burnaby attempted to use municipal bylaws to withhold permits for preparatory work on the pipeline expansion.

“The company went to the National Energy Board and said … the statute gives you the power to answer constitutional questions,” Junger said. “The NEB gave them that ruling.”

Ian Blue, a lawyer with Gardiner Roberts and an expert in energy and constitutional law, said Kinder Morgan may indeed be able to manage this on its own through an order from the energy board. But he said the federal government has options for intervening if B.C. moves forward with the regulations.

“It could instruct the Attorney General of Canada to commence action in B.C. Supreme Court for a declaration that the proposed regulations are unconstitutional,” he said. “That in itself would be a huge shot across Premier Horgan’s bow.”


A protest in Vancouver against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

And there is another federal power that could be called upon, though it hasn’t been exercised in nearly a century.

“Once the regulations came into force, the Liberal government could just cut through all this delay and legal process, and under section 90 of the Constitution Act, disallow the regulations,” he said. “It has not been used since the 1940s, but it’s still a very definite power in the Constitution Act and could be used.”

But even if B.C. has little chance of prevailing legally in the long run, in the short term it could still cause so much delay and general uncertainty that Kinder Morgan eventually decides the project isn’t worth it.

“If B.C. wanted to get really bloody-minded about it, it could play constitutional whack-a-mole,” Blue said. “While the Attorney General of Canada and Kinder Morgan are in court arguing over one provision, they could then pass another provision, and the whole process would have to start all over again.”

That’s why a political solution may be necessary now, before any legal process gets underway. (Though there is already a Federal Court of Appeal case being heard on whether First Nations were duly consulted, and the B.C. government has intervenor status.)

Junger said there’s a “poker game” going on between B.C. and Alberta, which is why Notley is calling for federal intervention despite the fact no regulations have been set yet.

“I think the government of Alberta must know that legally it’s premature, but they’re worried that the net effect (of B.C.’s threat) will be to just scare the proponent away,” he said.

Meanwhile, construction on the Trans Mountain pipeline was planned to begin this month, but has now been delayed while the company works through the latest obstacles.

“Currently Trans Mountain is focusing on route hearings and advancing the permitting process,” it said in a statement. “Until we receive greater clarity and certainty on permitting, approvals and judicial reviews, Trans Mountain will not be moving towards broader construction activities.”

• Email: | Twitter: btaplatt

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Horgan: a friend of Trump, an enemy of climate action?

·        Calgary Herald

·        17 Feb 2018


EDMONTON B.C. Premier John Horgan must be rolling in his political grave.

The latest development in the pipeline dispute with Alberta has him being cast as a friend of U.S. President Donald Trump and an enemy of the fight against climate change.

For a left-leaning, tree-hugging, progressive West Coaster, there could be no greater insults.

But that’s where this strange political journey has taken us.

After weeks of deriding Horgan’s attempts to delay or kill the expansion of the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as illegal and unconstitutional and a threat to the jobs of hardworking Canadians, Premier Rachel Notley added more derision Friday.

During a scrum with journalists, she, in so many words, called Horgan an unwitting dupe of Trump. Actually, the words aren’t hers. They belong to former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna, now a member of Notley’s “retaliatory” task force in the trade war with B.C.

Notley said McKenna brought up an interesting point at the task force’s first meeting Wednesday. He said Horgan’s blockade of the Kinder Morgan project prevents Alberta from getting its oil to the world market and thus forces the province to sell more of its oil to the United States at a discount.

“For every day that this pipeline is delayed, for every day that we are forced to sell our resources to the United States at a huge discount price, tens of millions of dollars of Canadian wealth evaporates,” said Notley, quoting McKenna. “Do you know where it reappears? That wealth reappears south of the border in Donald Trump’s America.”

Tellingly, it’s not called “America,” but “Donald Trump’s America.”

And then the rhetorical question: “Why would we do that?”

To add insult to injury, Notley also accused Horgan of undermining the federal government’s pan-Canadian plan to fight man-made climate change. “They are also taking dead aim at the national climate change plan, a plan that rests on the successful completion of this pipeline.”

This one needs a bit of explaining, but it’s not as much of a stretch as calling Horgan a Trump booster.

It comes from a comment by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an interview this week with the left-leaning news outlet, the National Observer: “If the Kinder Morgan pipeline doesn’t go through, Alberta will withdraw its support for the national plan on climate change. We will not have them fighting to reach their carbon targets, and we will not, then, have them as partners in reaching our Paris targets.”

Trudeau is using some coded language here. When he says, “Alberta will withdraw its support” for the federal climate plan, he is not referring to the Notley government, but the Jason Kenney government.

The presumption, and it’s a pretty good one, is that if the pipeline is stalled or killed, Notley has no chance of winning the 2019 provincial election.

Meanwhile, political pressure is mounting on Horgan inside B.C. as the opposition Liberals build on opinion polls that indicate many British Columbians support an environmentally responsible pipeline.

B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman sounded almost plaintive in his latest statement: “Our government is merely seeking to consult with British Columbians on proposed regulations to protect our environment, through improved spills prevention, response and recovery measures. We are very supportive of the pan-Canadian approach to climate action.”

That’s no consolation for Notley. She is demanding B.C. back down quickly or face an escalation of the trade war next week. And perhaps an escalation of insulting things she’ll say about Horgan


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Pipeline delays have cost Canada $117B in seven years


  • Calgary Herald
  • 17 Feb 2018
  • CHRIS VARCOE Chris Varcoe is a Calgary Herald columnist.
getimage.aspx?regionKey=putD6PIm8xF%2frQyKJ0r%2biQ%3d%3dMIKE DREW FILES “At a time when Canadians are somewhat hostile toward (U.S. President Donald) Trump, I don’t know why they’re happy in subsidizing (the president) and the United States of America to the tune as much as $30 billion a year,” says former ambassador to the U.S. Frank McKenna.

The B.C. government talks a lot these days about the possibility of a catastrophic oil spill tied to pipeline expansion.

The very idea evokes emotion on both sides of the Rocky Mountain divide.

Fear is a great motivator.

So is patriotism.

Frank McKenna, Canada’s former ambassador to the United States, wants to bring another card to the pipeline debating table: the country’s economic self-interest.

“As a Canadian, I feel passionate about this,” McKenna, who also served as premier of New Brunswick for a decade, said in an interview.

“This dissipation of resources, this waste of a great national resource — and this vaporization of so much Canadian wealth — is offensive to me.”

Such forceful talk isn’t a surprise.

Last week, McKenna joined Premier Rachel Notley’s new task force to find ways to improve market access for Alberta’s oil and gas.

It’s also coming up with options to respond to British Columbia’s proposed regulations that would limit bitumen shipments moving through that province.

If successful, B.C.’s measures would delay and possibly derail the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that Alberta is heavily promoting.

McKenna presents the economic case for the $7.4-billion development, which will triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain line that moves oil from the Edmonton area to Burnaby.

He said it makes no sense for Canada to continue to sell its oil at huge discounts to U.S. and world prices because it lacks the ability to get new energy infrastructure built.

McKenna, who now serves as deputy chairman of the TD Bank, said work done by the financial institution indicates the price differential has cost Canada about $117 billion in the past seven years.

“That is a colossal amount of money for Canadians to lose, simply because they don’t have access to competitive markets,” he said.

“That’s money coming right out of Canadians’ pockets.”

The discount he refers to is the differential between benchmark U.S. prices and Western Canadian Select heavy crude. The gap expanded to almost US$40 a barrel back in December 2013 but shrank to $11 last fall.

With oilsands production continuing to grow and pipelines constrained in recent weeks, the discount sat at $26.50 a barrel on Thursday.

McKenna isn’t the only one making the economic argument.

On Thursday, Cenovus Energy CEO Alex Pourbaix told the Canadian Press that if the differential narrowed by US$10 a barrel, Alberta would see another $50 million a day pumped into the economy.

Instead, the price gap amounts to a “transfer of wealth from Alberta and Canada to U.S. refiners and U.S. consumers,” he said.

In other words, we’re chumps to leave money on the table while others are benefiting.

McKenna, it should be noted, is on the board of directors of oilsands giant Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., but the former ambassador said that’s not why he’s on the premier’s new panel.

He supported the now-defunct Energy East pipeline proposal that would have shipped Western Canadian crude all the way to the Atlantic coast.

Now, he vigorously backs Trans Mountain, which is expected to open up new export opportunities into Asia for Alberta crude.

Most Canadians don’t know that this country sends 99 per cent of our oil and natural gas exports to one customer: the United States.

McKenna hopes to change that by speaking out.

“At a time when Canadians are somewhat hostile toward Trump, I don’t know why they’re happy in subsidizing (the president) and the United States of America to the tune as much as $30 billion a year,” said McKenna.

“It makes no sense for us to have a single buyer.”

Opponents of Trans Mountain discount the economic rationale, saying the risks are too high. The government of B.C. Premier John Horgan says it’s concerned about the environmental and economic consequences of a potential spill.

“We are putting in place a consultation ... so that the public has an understanding of the potential impact of a catastrophic spill within British Columbia,” Horgan told reporters this month.

Yet, these issues were studied by the National Energy Board and the project was later approved by the federal cabinet.

Notley calls the B.C. government’s actions unconstitutional. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week Horgan is threatening to scuttle the national climate change plan he crafted with the provinces.

McKenna agrees, saying a “very implicit part of the deal” was Alberta would agree to cap greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands and put in place a carbon tax.

In return, “it was implicit in that (agreement) there be pipeline access so that Alberta could extract the maximum economic rent from its resource, having limited its ability to grow that resource,” he added.

“If you have Alberta carbon policy falling apart, I think it would really undermine the national carbon strategy.”

He’s right. It’s tough to imagine the plan holding together if the country’s largest energy producer and emitter isn’t playing ball.

As for the politics at play today, McKenna said it’s pretty clear what’s happening in B.C.

Small groups with loud megaphones have more control of the agenda than large numbers of citizens who are less motivated to speak out, he said.

“When I was premier of New Brunswick, we supported a refinery built right in the city of Saint John, with some of the largest tankers coming in almost daily. We’ve never had a catastrophic spill and we were pleased to do that,” McKenna said.

“There are sometimes when you have to think about what is in the best interests of the country.”

It’s a powerful argument. But is economic self-interest and patriotism strong enough to trump fear and loathing in a Canadian pipeline fight?

The answer to that question will play out soon enough.

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There appears to be hope for our LNG exports but not from a Canadian Port.  I wonder how many potential Canadian Jobs will be lost.

Pembina Pipelines’ new focus

Move on to ‘get our hydrocarbons to the rest of the world’ but next key project could be in U.S.

  • Calgary Herald
  • 20 Feb 2018
  • CLAUDIA CATTANEO Financial Post
getimage.aspx?regionKey=jn72qr0QGGLjziAY8nxRPg%3d%3dTODD KOROL Mick Dilger, CEO of Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline, thinks it would be better for governments to help improve the value of existing resources rather than chase new energy sources.

Political priorities come and go, especially when it comes to energy these days, and Pembina Pipeline Corp. has been adding value one piece of infrastructure at a time since the days of Louis St. Laurent.

Its most recent growth spurt, much of it through the oil and gas downturn, has boosted its enterprise value to $26.7 billion, from $14.4 billion in 2014 when current chief executive Mick Dilger took over, and from $3 billion 10 years ago.

With that kind of pedigree, you could do worse than pay attention to Dilger, who believes it would be better for governments to help improve the value of existing resources rather than chase new energy sources.

Canada, he points out, sits on some of the world’s best and largest deposits of natural gas, which could be the bridge fuel to both help solve the climate change challenge by replacing coal and turn the country into a green superpower.

“How bad does it have to get in Canada before people care?” Dilger said in an interview in the company’s Calgary headquarters. “Monies don’t come from governments. They come from adding value, and maybe parts of Canada have had it too good and we need some pain before people start to wake up. It’s also frustrating to me because I am mindful of the envi- ronment.”

Pembina is little known outside Western Canada, partly because it rarely seeks publicity, partly because much of its business has been in energy-friendly Alberta.

It grew from a single oil pipeline built in 1954 by Alberta’s Mannix dynasty to transport oil from the Pembina oil discovery in Drayton Valley, Alta. The company is now widely held — the Mannix family remains a shareholder — and is now Canada’s third-largest pipeline company after Enbridge Inc. and TransCanada Corp.

Pembina has achieved its lofty position by building or buying infrastructure to serve its oil and gas customers in Western Canada, specifically pipelines linked to the oilsands in Alberta and shale discoveries such as the Montney and the Duvernay, storage tanks, fractionation plants that separate light hydrocarbon mixtures into individual substances, and gasprocessing facilities.

The next projects in its core geography continue to reflect its time-tested mantra: do the most with the molecules you have.

The projects include a proposed a $4-billion petrochemical plant in Sturgeon County in Alberta’s Heartland with equal partner Petrochemical Industries Co. of Kuwait, and a $250-million liquefied petroleum gas export terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C.

“We think we have a purpose beyond what we have done, which is to play our part alongside other sector companies to get our hydrocarbons to the rest of the world,” Dilger said.

But its next game-changing project could be in the United States. Pembina is making progress on reviving the US$10-billion Jordan Cove Energy Project, a liquefied natural gas export terminal on the Oregon coast to process Western Canadian gas, which is in great demand in Asia, but prices have languished because of a lack of export infrastructure.

Jordan Cove was part of Pembina’s acquisition of Veresen Inc. last year, part of a $100-billion U.S. buying spree by Canada’s top three pipeline companies over the past three years.

In addition to Pembina’s purchase of Veresen, whose assets are half in the U.S., Enbridge bought Spectra Energy Corp. and TransCanada purchased Columbia Pipeline Group Inc.

The U.S. is where Pembina’s larger competitors have already spread out to get around Canada’s infrastructure gridlock and to take advantage of the more favourable business environment down south.

“That is $100-billion worth of money that could have been spent in Canada,” said Dilger, a 54-yearold accountant by trade. “Think about that: the royalties, the jobs. The trend is, as their economy gets more pro business and pro-development, and ours goes the other way, capital will flee Canada. Those are all irrefutable conclusions to the way we are going, versus the way they are going.”

The struggling but advanced Jordan Cove LNG project was denied an export permit by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission two years ago because of a lack of customers even during a period of weak LNG prices, but Pembina has since filed a new permit application and expects a ruling this November.

“We believe (the project) filed a winning application this time,” Dilger said. “They had tremendous local support and federal support. I am not trying to predict what is going to happen in 2023 with commodity prices. But today, the price of gas in Tokyo is US$11. The price of gas in Alberta on a bad day is like $1. It costs you $5 to $6 to get it there. So there is a massive arbitrage today. I don’t know what it’s going to be in 2023, but there is a lot of interest right now.”

Pembina is trying to secure customers and finish pipeline engineering, but if everything works out, the company will be in a position to make a final investment decision as soon as the end of 2018, Dilger said, which might mean the project could be completed in 2023.

“Pembina was smart to keep the project alive because the LNG market is coming to them now,” said Dan Tsubouchi, chief market strategist at Stream Asset Financial Management, who believes global LNG demand is recovering a lot faster than previously anticipated.

Buying Veresen also gave Pembina two strategic Canadian gas export assets: a 50 per cent interest in the Alliance natural gas pipeline from Western Canada to Chicago (the rest is owned by Enbridge), and a roughly 43 per cent stake in a natural-gas-processing venture, Aux Sable.

But Dilger worries Canada’s energy infrastructure problems will only get worse because of recent reforms announced by Ottawa to modernize the regulatory and environmental reviews of energy projects.

For example, allowing anyone in Canada to have an opinion on whether a major project should go ahead politicizes reviews and puts the country down a “very dangerous” path, he said.

There are three LNG projects making progress on the B.C. coast — LNG Canada led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC with partners PetroChina, Korea Gas Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan; Woodfibre LNG, owned by the RGE Group of companies based in Singapore; and Kitimat LNG, a joint venture between Chevron Corp. and Australia’s Woodside Petroleum Ltd. But politics and high costs have been a long-running challenge.

Jordan Cove, meanwhile, would process up to 1.3 billion cubic feet a day of both Western Canadian gas or U.S. Rockies gas into LNG for export to Asia, but it’s not the only energy export project that could take Canadian energy in the U.S. to reach Asian markets.

The proposed Eagle Spirit oil pipeline is also moving forward with plans to establish a tanker terminal in Alaska to export Canadian oil and get around the federal Liberal government’s tanker ban.

Dilger believes Jordan Cove has a higher chance of success under Pembina than it had under Veresen because it has the money to finance it, the expertise to build both the plant and a 400-kilometre pipeline through tough terrain, and the relationships with Western Canadian producers and Asian customers to make it viable.

Some day, Pembina would like to build an LNG facility on the B.C. coast, too, Dilger said, but Jordan Cove has key advantages: It is cheaper to build a pipeline to receive Western Canadian gas from existing networks than build over the Canadian Rockies; its location near larger population centres means there is labour available to build it; and shorter travel time to Asian markets versus the U.S. Gulf Coast means lower transportation costs for its LNG.

Another priority is the expansion of the Alliance pipeline, one of Canada’s large gas export highways into the Chicago hub.

Pembina will move ahead with Veresen’s plans to expand the system by up to 500 million cubic feet a day, adding to the current level of 1.8 billion cubic feet a day, by using compression. A binding open season for interested shippers is underway.

“The best market in North America right now is Chicago,” Dilger said, “I’d like to see Canadian gas get there and get some higher netbacks.”

The Veresen acquisition diversified Pembina’s assets into gas and into a new region, he said, but it also fits with the company’s integrated business model, which he said is better than having disparate energy businesses geographically.

As for moving into new energy sources such as wind and solar, Dilger doesn’t see the value proposition for his company, adding: “How’s that working for Ontario so far?”

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Since the NDP in Alberta and BC and the Liberals in Ottawa and Quebec Seem intent to kill off the ecnomic engine of Canada, Canadian oil money has run to the friendly environment of Texas.

“ This mammoth new shale drilling method is about to supersize the future of fracking “

“ In the scrublands of West Texas there’s an oil-drilling operation like few that have come before.

Encana Corp.’s RAB Davidson well pad is so mammoth, the explorer speaks of it in military terms, describing its efforts here as an occupation. More than 1 million pounds of drilling rigs, bulldozers, tanker trucks and other equipment spread out over a dusty 16-acre expanse. As of November, the 19 wells here collectively pumped almost 20,000 barrels of crude per day, according to company reports.

Encana calls this “cube development,” and it may be the supersized future of U.S. fracking, says Gabriel Daoud, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst who visited Davidson last year. The technique is designed to tap the multiple layers of petroleum-soaked rock here in Texas’s Permian shale basin all at once, rather than the one-or-two-well, one-layer-at-a-time approach of the past.”

” Along with the Davidson pad, Calgary-based Encana has 12- and 14-well operations in Texas “

Edited by Jaydee

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  • Calgary Herald
  • 24 Feb 2018
  • DON BRAID Don Braid’s column appears regularly in the Herald Twitter: @DonBraid
getimage.aspx?regionKey=%2bU1tx%2fpxJyJCzJJjWKsG2A%3d%3dTHE CANADIAN PRESS The thinking behind John Horgan’s anti-pipeline stand threatens protectionist warfare across Confederation, says Don Braid.

B.C. Premier John Horgan couldn’t spin his own law out of thin air. Now he claims to believe in the rule of law.

That’s what Alberta is up against in the pipeline dispute with B.C. — blinding illogic, growing fanaticism, a premier who invents a cascade of slippery tactics to stall a pipeline out of existence.

Premier Rachel Notley knows it. She correctly said British Columbia’s retreat to the courts is only a small victory.

She kept her promise and lifted the wine boycott. But B.C.’s bitumen boycott, informal but fierce, is far from resolution.

Horgan will now ask the Supreme Court to rule on his claim that B.C. can regulate what flows through a federally approved pipeline.

A week ago, Horgan was saying B.C. couldn’t be sued because he was merely consulting voters about controlling the flow of bitumen, not actually regulating it. And now, on exactly the same ethereal terms, he wants the nation’s top court to accept a referral.

Horgan’s magical case, should it succeed, would fundamentally change the country, making interprovincial trade subject to the protectionist whim of every province.

Last week, Horgan gave a clear outline of his constitutional thinking in a Vancouver Island radio interview.

It makes me wonder if this guy has any sense of Canada beyond Burnaby city limits.

His proposed power to regulate pipelines, he said, “received a very hot response from Premier Notley. But I don’t think there’s anything outside of our jurisdiction here.”

He added: “Resources fall to the province, but trans-boundary issues are a federal responsibility. But once the boundary is crossed into British Columbia, it strikes me that the government of British Columbia has the jurisdiction ... I believe we’re on solid ground.”

Now, imagine that the Supreme Court accepts this as a national principle.

There would no longer be federal authority over interprovincial trade. Once bitumen or any other product crossed the border, B.C. could simply close a valve and that’s it.

(And remember, he’s threatening to regulate rail shipments too.)

Obviously, Horgan’s target is diluted bitumen. But a ruling in his favour could be applied to everything in a pipeline or a rail car, anywhere in Canada. Products could be blocked or taxed out of the market.

Canada would launch into an era of protectionist warfare between provinces. Boycotts on wine or licence plates would look minor. The only way for a province to protect its exports would be to threaten somebody else’s.

For Horgan’s government, protectionism is already reaching far beyond trade in goods.

It’s hard to miss the connection between the bitumen dispute and B.C.’s budget decision this week to levy a punishing tax on out-of-province property owners.

This will sting thousands of Albertans who own vacation properties from some Interior communities to the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. One friend estimates an annual bill of $14,000 for his Island condo.

B.C. has a genuine problem with offshore speculators driving up prices and taking rentals off the market. But the reach of this policy, far beyond offshore owners and the hottest areas, smacks of retribution.

No other province has such a tax. Only P.E.I. regulates outof-province ownership, and the rules are both mild and understandable in such a small province.

This week, an Angus Reid poll outlined by Postmedia’s Chris Varcoe showed an even national split between Alberta and B.C. stances on the pipeline.

This could be seen as encouraging. But on one question — Who should decide: Ottawa or provinces? — the results are deeply alarming.

Fully 47 per cent of Canadians believe individual provinces should have this power. Even in Ontario, which considers itself the beating heart of Confederation, 44 per cent believe provinces should have the final say.

The question related only to pipelines, and people obviously had the Kinder Morgan project in mind when they answered it.

But the worm is loose in the national woodwork. The idea of Canada as an economic union is breaking down. The country itself may not be far behind.

One day, John Horgan could have a lot of explaining to do.

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Every day 7,000 oil tankers traverse ports around the world. Some of those ships leave countries like Norway, the UK and the USA.‬

‪Despite Canada’s world leading environmental standards, “green” groups are only blocking Canadian trade and our economy is suffering.

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I guess Hogan will now consider banning the RCN from BC waters.


Thirty thousand litres of fuel spills off navy ship on B.C. coast, official investigation underway

‎Yesterday, ‎February ‎25, ‎2018, ‏‎6:21:53 PM | The Canadian Press

 Federal crews are keeping an eye on a 30,000-litre fuel spill from a navy ship in the waters between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

HMCS Calgary was sailing near the Georgia Strait traffic lanes when fuel spilled from the vessel.

Maritime Forces Pacific has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the spill, which involved F76 naval fuel.

“F76 is a marine distillate. It is light in nature and is extremely similar to kerosene. This type of fuel will readily evaporate in the marine setting,” navy spokeswoman Lt. Melissa Kia said.

She said HMCS Calgary circled back on its path to look for any indication of the spill and aircraft looked for any sheen from the sky.

The navy has booms and pads ready for cleanup, she said, but it’s likely that most of the fuel has already evaporated.

A statement from the navy Sunday afternoon said it’s too early to know what impact the spill will have on fisheries and local marine life.

It has placed a crew at Nanoose Bay on alert and advised Western Canadian Marine Response of the situation.

The Canadian Coast Guard and Environment Canada are also supporting the navy.

“The response is ongoing until we have confirmation that everything is good,” Kia said. “We will keep looking and doing our due diligence.”

Anyone who sees signs of the spill is asked to contact the Regional Joint Operations Centre.

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I always loved the pc answer to kerosene spills & dumps that advises the public the toxicant will evaporate, which makes it sound like, 'problem solved people, there's nothing to be concerned about'. 

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March 2, 2018 3:18 pm

Danielle Smith: Foreign interests behind effort to stop Trans Mountain Pipeline

770 CHQR
ds-final.png?w=55&h=55&crop=1&quality=60 By Danielle Smith Radio Host  770 CHQR 

If you haven’t signed up to follow Vivian Krause on Twitter,  you really should. This week she continued to expose the roots of the extreme environmental opposition to Alberta oilsands and those who fund it.

The main thing those of us who support the energy sector and pipeline construction need to understand is that we are 10 years and half a billion dollars behind in the public opinion campaign to win over hearts and minds in support of energy development.

LISTEN: Vivian Krause explains what she’s found about campaigns targeting Kinder Morgan

View link »

READ MORE: Rachel Notley wants action on Trans Mountain pipeline impasse by next week

Environmental groups – backed by the U.S.-based Tides Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and other well-endowed U.S. funds – met in 2008 to hatch a strategy, called the Tarsands Campaign, to landlock Alberta oil and prevent it from reaching international markets to fetch international prices.

The most recent manifestation of the anti-tarsands campaign was the green movement’s interference in the 2015 federal election, in a coordinated effort to defeat Conservatives in 25 out of 29 targeted ridings. It was spearheaded and bragged about by LeadNow.

Now these groups are at it again. All you have to do is track the loudest voices trying to shut down Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline and you will find It’s a familiar name; most recently in the news as part of the bizarre New York City press conference that launched a lawsuit trying to pin the blame for Hurricane Sandy on five oil companies.

But was also one of the groups that coordinated to issue a laudatory press release after the B.C. NDP government announced its plan to restrict bitumen coming into B.C.

WATCH BELOW: Pipeline protesters confront Trudeau during meeting with Calif. official


READ MORE: Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, won’t give province free ride: Rachel Notley

Krause has just discovered where got their funding, from their most recent 2016 U.S. annual return. Most of it came from massive donations from just four sources: $4 million from one donor, $3 million from another and two others for $500,000.

Why should we care who is? Because they are behind the latest campaign targeting the oilsands – called the KM Action Hive Proposal.

The Hive is “a coalition of organizations and grassroots groups, organized to provide support for and share information about mass, creative and non-violent direct actions.”  The Swarm is “activists, small groups and the general public involved in mass actions that sign on to the action agreements (to be decided by the initial Hive) and require support.” The purpose of it all is to “support mass popular resistance to construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.”

Will we never learn? The so-called grassroots environmental movement is the furthest thing from being grassroots. It is a big money campaign that is designed to control domestic political decisions for the benefit of foreign interests. And we’re all supposed to be concerned that the Russians are trying to influence our elections by buying ads on Facebook? I think the foreign roots of green activism is a much greater threat to Canadian democracy.

Danielle Smith can be reached at

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Oil demand growth to shift to petrochemicals away from motor fuels: IEA

Strong global demand for oil and gas will shift in the next five years towards petrochemicals and away from motor fuels gasoline and diesel, the International Energy Agency says.

Many of the petrochemicals will be produced using gas, cutting out refineries, group says

Thomson Reuters · Posted: Mar 05, 2018 11:26 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 hours ago
Demand for products ranging from fertilizers to plastics and beauty products will drive roughly a quarter of the expected oil demand growth to 2023, the IEA says in its five-year outlook. (Robson Fletcher/CBC)

Strong global demand for oil and gas will shift in the next five years towards petrochemicals and away from motor fuels gasoline and diesel, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Monday.

Demand for products ranging from fertilizers to plastics and beauty products will drive roughly a quarter of the expected oil demand growth to 2023, the IEA said in its five-year outlook.

The shift represents a major challenge to the oil industry, as many of the petrochemicals will be produced using gas, cutting out refineries. At the same time, growth in gasoline and diesel usage will be held back by fuel efficiency improvements and declining consumption in the developed world, the IEA said.

World oil demand is expected to rise by 6.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to 2023, it said, with a quarter of this growth, or 1.7 million bpd, coming from demand for petrochemical feedstocks ethane and naphtha.

"Global economic growth is lifting more people into the middle class in developing countries and higher incomes mean sharply rising demand for consumer goods and services," the IEA said.

"A large group of chemicals derived from oil and natural gas are crucial to the manufacture of many products that satisfy this rising demand," it added.

Naphtha is made by oil refineries processing crude, but other petrochemical feedstocks - ethane or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) - are processed outside traditional oil refineries.

"Ethane, liquefied petroleum gases and naphtha, pose a bigger threat to the refiners' market share than electric vehicles and gas-powered transportation combined," the IEA said, estimating refiners would see just 4.8 million bpd of the demand growth to 2023, missing out on 30 per cent of it.

The boom in U.S. shale oil has dramatically expanded the availability of ethane, and a string of new projects on the U.S. Gulf Coast are underway to process it.

In total, the world is expected to add 1.4 million bpd in new petrochemical-producing steam crackers to 2023, the IEA said.

Demand for ethane will expand at the fastest pace in the next five years, rising by 885,000 bpd, followed by naphtha with growth of 495,000 bpd and LPG with growth of 40,000 bpd, it forecast.

Jet fuel, supported by growing demand for air travel, will grow by 1.2 per cent to 2023, the IEA added.

But it said demand for gasoline and diesel would rise by just 0.7 per cent each, with expansion slowed by fuel efficiency standards that now cover two thirds of the world's top car markets.

More than 80 per cent of global car sales are now in markets covered by efficiency standards, including China, India the United States and Europe. The IEA said this "will impact strongly on future oil demand."

Partially as a result, the IEA warned that refinery additions totalling 7.7 million bpd would outstrip growth in demand for refined products by 2023 by some 3 million bpd.

"The gap between refinery capacity growth and refined product demand growth has never been so large in recent history," the IEA said.

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‎Today, ‎March ‎8, ‎2018, ‏‎7 minutes ago

Shock and oil: Alberta premier threatens to turn off taps in B.C. dispute

‎Today, ‎March ‎8, ‎2018, ‏‎1 hour ago | Sandra Prusina

EDMONTON – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is threatening to turn off the oil taps in a fight with British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notley won’t say if she would cut off B.C. or the rest of Canada — or both — but says her government is ready to pass legislation to make it happen.

“Our key focus is getting people’s attention on the matter,” Notley told a news conference Thursday prior to the speech from the throne to open the next session of the legislature.

“We’re not interested in creating any kind of crisis in any way, shape or form. We’re going to be measured. We’re going to be careful.”

The $7.4-billion pipeline expansion would triple the amount of Alberta crude going from Edmonton to ports and refineries in B.C.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government approved the Kinder Morgan project in 2016, but the pipeline has since faced permit fights and challenges from the B.C. government.

Alberta has already imposed and pulled back on a ban of wine from B.C., but Notley said the government will not stand for further delays and harassment.

She said the project is vital to Alberta and to the rest of Canada, and the country is forgoing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost revenue due to pipeline bottlenecks.

“There are many tools that we also have between our previous wine ban and this tool,” said Notley.

“All we are doing is making sure that our tools are at the ready, because it is important for Albertans to understand that we are going to stand up to protect the interests of Albertans on this matter.”

The announcement echoes action taken in 1980 by former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed in a showdown with the federal government.

Lougheed announced phased cuts to oil flows amounting to 15 per cent over nine months as well as the cancellation of two large oilsands developments after Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals brought in the national energy program with its price controls, new taxes and revenue sharing.

The two sides brokered a compromise after Lougheed turned off the taps.

Opposition United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney has been pushing Notley for weeks to take a tougher stance with pipeline opponents, including revisiting Lougheed’s moves.

Notley brought in a ban on B.C. wine in February after B.C. Premier John Horgan’s government announced it would not allow increased oil shipments through the province until it had reviewed oil spill safety.

Notley lifted the ban on Feb. 22 after Horgan said his government would ask the courts to determine if B.C. has the authority to take the action it was planning.

Notley and the federal government have stated that the law is clear and Ottawa alone has ultimate jurisdiction on interprovincial pipelines.

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The Dipper governments are head to head and neither one realizes just how easily the oil flow can be stopped.  The Alberta government can be selective and just let through the amounts going for export but if it is going for gasoline in Vancouver then it can be stopped.

The Alberta NDP is so stupid that they think that they need to 'pass legislation'.  That is not necessary.  Just do not sign the relevant export permits.

The effect would be almost instantaneous:



Edited by Fido
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8 hours ago, Fido said:

The Dipper governments are head to head and neither one realizes just how easily the oil flow can be stopped.  The Alberta government can be selective and just let through the amounts going for export but if it is going for gasoline in Vancouver then it can be stopped.

The Alberta NDP is so stupid that they think that they need to 'pass legislation'.  That is not necessary.  Just do not sign the relevant export permits.

The effect would be almost instantaneous:



Not only gas but also Jet Fuel for YVR.

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Is the Trans Mountain pipeline really an ocean-murdering hellspawn like B.C. says it is?

‎Today, ‎March ‎9, ‎2018, ‏‎3 hours ago | Tristin Hopper

If you ask the B.C. government why they’re trying to block the federally approved Trans Mountain pipeline, they will say that it’s all about protecting the ocean. “I’m standing up for the coast, man,” B.C. premier John Horgan said last month.

Rather than crude oil, the Trans Mountain pipeline will carry diluted bitumen, a heavier and more viscous petroleum product. Pipeline opponents maintain that this makes the project a uniquely dangerous environmental threat.

There may be some truth to that, but it’s safe to say that B.C. is currently awash in a galaxy of pipeline fears that don’t necessarily square with reality. 

Below, our attempt to explain the risks, debunk the myths and illustrate, as best as possible, whether the Trans Mountain pipeline really is the destroyer of worlds that activists says it is.

The pipeline makes a coastal B.C. spill more likely
It’s bad when a tanker hits something and spills fossil fuels into the ocean. The Trans Mountain pipeline will raise the amount of tankers in B.C. waters, thus statistically increasing the chances that one of them will hit something and cause a spill. Currently, about five tankers per months pull into the waters off Vancouver and fill up with diluted bitumen shipped in on the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system. The pipeline expansion would increase that number to more than 30 per month. The points below will discuss the relative risk that these extra tankers represent, and in approving the project, the National Energy Board deemed these risks to be “acceptable.” However, if British Columbian opponents cannot abide any increase in risk to ocean safety — no matter how marginal — nothing is going to change their mind on the pipeline. One complicating factor is that most of the economic benefits from the pipeline will flow to Alberta and Interior B.C. communities. Thus, for coastal communities computing a cost-benefit analysis for the project, their ledger is necessarily going to be tilted in favour of cost.


The 245-metre-long Yasa Golden Dardanelles anchors off Cates Park in North Vancouver on February 23, 2012.

Nobody really knows what bitumen will do in salt water
Diluted bitumen (dilbit) is the raw molasses-like raw product extracted from the Athabasca oil sands, mixed in with diluants to make it fluid enough to travel through a pipeline. The product is heavier and more viscous than conventional crude, so the fear is that while regular spilled oil can be skimmed from the surface, diluted bitumen will sink to the bottom. “Spills of diluted bitumen pose particular challenges when they reach water bodies. In some cases, the residues can submerge or sink to the bottom of the water body,” reads a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. A massive 2010 spill of dilbit into the Kalamazoo River, for instance, resulted in thousands of litres sinking to the bottom where it had to be painstakingly dredged and vaccuumed out. This has prompted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to warn that dilbit sinks within a “matter of days” after a spill. But dilbit will float upon contact with water, and there are unknowns about what causes it to sink, and how quickly. “Despite the importance of oil type, the overall impact of an oil spill … depends mainly on the environmental characteristics, the conditions where the spill takes place and the speed of response,” reads a 2015 report by the Royal Society of Canada. Context is everything in an oil spill. Canada’s largest-ever oil spill, the 1988 explosion and sinking of the Odyssey, required no cleanup response and had no long-term environmental consequences. This was due to most of the oil either burning up or getting quickly diluted in Atlantic currents. Conversely, if a small amount of petroleum is spilled in a particular fragile area — and under conditions where it cannot easily be cleaned up — it need only take a small amount to do lasting damage.


James Shaw, an engineer with Cenovus Energy pours diluted bitumen.

… but laboratory tests keep finding that diluted bitumen floats
The National Academy of Sciences report quoted above was a literature review; it didn’t do any original research. And while there are very few direct studies into the behaviour of dilbit in saltwater, the ones that exist have generally favoured the “dilbit floats” camp. The one cited in National Energy Board documents was a study that poured dilbit into saltwater tanks to see if it could be cleaned up with conventional oil spill equipment. The study concluded that dilbit needed two things to sink. First, a period of “weathering” in which lighter components could evaporate from the dilbit. Then, sediments need to cling to the remaining product and drag it to the bottom. The conclusion was that dilbit wasn’t particularly unique in this behaviour, and acted like “many other heavy crude oils.” Granted, the study was commissioned by Kinder Morgan, although Environment and Climate Change Canada reviewed the data and gave it their thumbs up, according to the National Energy Board. Subsequent tank tests by Natural Resources Canada have similarly found that dilbit will initially float until degraded by heat or evaporation. Nevertheless, these are still just laboratory tests, and researchers do seem to agree that it’s necessary to clean up a dilbit spill much faster than a conventional spill.


A saltwater tank being used to test the ability of traditional oil spill equipment to clean dilbit.

Dilbit is not more prone to inland spills (and might have the opposite effect)
The aforementioned Kalamazoo spill occurred when a ruptured Enbridge pipeline leaked nearly 4 million litres of dilbit. It was bad: A 50-km stretch of the river was closed, local had their drinking water turned off and there were evacuations due to air quality concerns. All told it was the worst inland oil spill since the United States petroleum industry began in 1859. This has helped popularize the notion that dilbit is more prone to spill because it corrodes metal quicker. However, this has been debunked by U.S. research conducted in relation to the Keystone XL pipeline. “In the context of pipeline transportation, characteristics of dilbit are not unique and are comparable to conventional crude oils,” concluded similar research by the Government of Alberta’s internal research and development council. Conversely, the Trans Mountain pipeline might actually reduce the amount of oil likely to spill in the B.C. interior. An expansion of the pipeline would severely undercut the vast numbers of oil trains that are currently shipping bitumen to the coast. And an oil train is vastly more prone to spill than a pipeline. The Lac-Mégantic rail disaster isn’t merely one of Canada’s deadliest rail disasters, it’s also one of the country’s largest oil spills.


Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac-Mégantic, Que., Saturday, July 6, 2013.

Regular tanker traffic isn’t uniquely dangerous to killer whales
Lots of anti-pipeline literature has been premised on the notion that, even without a spill, the Trans Mountain pipeline will manage to get B.C.’s orcas killed. There are 76 orcas who live in the Salish Sea, constituting the only endangered North American orca population. Ecojustice called the pipeline a “death knell” to orcas, while the Raincoast Conservation Foundation called it “the death certificate for the Southern Resident killer whale population.” The theory is that increased tanker traffic will result in more noise pollution and a greater risk of vessels smashing into breaching orcas. Noise and vessel collisions are indeed a hazard to B.C. orcas, but by 2026 Port Metro Vancouver is expecting to process 6,500 vessels per year. Of that total, only 4.6 per cent will represent the 300 extra tankers expected to be brought by an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline. And 6,500 doesn’t even include the vast array of ferries, yachts, barges, cruise ships and fishing vessels plying the Salish Sea each day. In the Juan da Fuca strait alone, there were 18,503 individual “vessel movements” in 2012, including tankers headed to the massive Cherry Point refinery located just south of the border in Washington State. Of all the industries bringing spinning propellers into the habitat of Salish Sea orcas, it’s notable that only Canadian-bound tankers have been singled out as being responsible for their “death certificate.”


In this July 3, 2016, photo, an orca whale designated J2 and also known as Granny, pokes her head upward while swimming in the Salish Sea near the San Juan Islands, Wash. At the time of this photo, Granny was suspected of being 104 years old, the world’s oldest known orca.

It’s reasonable to expect a marine spill would not happen
Here is an online map of every single oil vessel at sea right now. There are thousands of them, and the vast majority will work spend their entire careers without ever suffering a single significant spill. Even as global oil consumption has soared and sea lanes have become increasingly packed with tankers, the amount of oil spilling into ocean has plummeted. In 1974 there were nearly 3,000 oil spills of more than seven tonnes, according to data maintained by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation. In 2016 there were fewer than 100. The decrease closely mirrors a similar decrease in commercial aviation crashes over the same period. In both cases, industry responded to each accident with new safety measures, with the inevitable result that spill-causing mistakes have plummeted. The Exxon Valdez spill, for instance, prompted an overhaul of Canada’s marine navigation regulations, including new provisions requiring tankers to be towed by tugs when entering delicate areas like the Burrard Inlet. It’s due in part to this safety record that the National Energy Board accepted Kinder Morgan’s claim that the likelihood of a spill is “very low.” According to Kinder Morgan risk calculations, a major spill would be a once-in-473-year event. A spill in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, in particular, was deemed to be so unlikely that Kinder Morgan said it was “not credible.” Opponents, however, have charged that this is dangerously hubristic and has made regulators complacent about properly preparing for a spill. In particular, critics have noted that according to Kinder Morgan’s own 473-year figure, this means that there’s a one in 10 chance of a major spill over the 50-year life of the project. 


Graph contrasting the growth in global oil consumption with the steep decline in marine oil spills.

Kinder Morgan has no liability for a marine spill
Enbridge spent US$1.21 billion cleaning up the Kalamazoo spill. If the Trans Mountain pipeline suffered a similar rupture, Kinder Morgan would similarly be on the hook to clean it up, remediate affected areas and compensate victims. But Kinder Morgan’s responsibility ends as soon as a tanker pulls away from port. “Trans Mountain said that it is not liable for a tanker-based marine spill and that it had not estimated any costs associated with such a spill,” reads the NEB report. If the unthinkable should happen, British Columbians would be left to seek compensation from whatever foreign-flagged vessel did the deed. There are a number of funds designed to kick in should a marine spill occur, but British Columbia can expect to collect a maximum of only $1.3 billion in the event of a spill. When adjusting for inflation, it’s much less than the US$1.025 billion settlement paid after the Exxon Valdez spill. Even then, the Valdez settlement is notorious for failing to cover the true costs of the disaster. “I got 10 cents on the dollar for my losses,” one gillnetter told the Anchorage Daily News in 2016.


An April 21, 1989 photo showing cleanup crews in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster. The shadow of the spill looms large over discussions of B.C. marine safety.

The spill response isn’t nothing
This is where Vancouver has a clear advantage over Kitimat, the B.C. port that was to serve as the endpoint of the now-cancelled Northern Gateway pipeline. The city is the headquarters of Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, the industry-funded private company in charge of spill response on the B.C. coast. While the company maintains caches all across the coast, its response times are shortest in the Vancouver area. In addition, Trans Mountain announced last year that spill response would be beefed up by $150 million in preparation for the pipeline. The National Energy Board has deemed it a “modest benefit” that B.C. spill response will be beefed up in preparation for the arrival of the Trans Mountain pipeline, since it also improves response for non-tanker spills. Of the two notable marine spills to strike B.C. waters in recent years, both have come from vessels that had nothing to do with the petroleum industry. The B.C. Ferry Queen of the North sank in 2006, prompting leaked diesel to pollute nearby beaches. And in 2015, a leak of 2,700 litres of bunker fuel into English Bay came from the MV Marathassa, a bulk grain carrier. Still, Western Canada Marine Response is only rated to deal with a spill under 10,000 tonnes. This is only one tenth of the volume spilled by the Exxon Valdez. Vancouver-area fire departments have been particularly vocal in saying that they don’t have confidence in the spill response plans they’ve heard from Kinder Morgan. Tim Armstrong, the fire chief in New Westminster, told a Trans Mountain ministerial panel that he had concerns about Kinder Morgan’s stated plans to respond to a large-scale spill with teams from Alberta. “That’s not an emergency response. That’s a remediation plan,” he said.


Map showing the response times and equipment caches for Western Canada Marine Response.

• Twitter: TristinHopper | Email:  Story Link:

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2 hours ago, Malcolm said:

Not only gas but also Jet Fuel for YVR.

The Jet Fuel is mostly refined in Burnaby using crude oil sent down the Trans-Mountain pipeline from Edmonton. The fuel is then sent by pipeline direct to YVR.

Another large part is refined in Cherry Point Washington partly using crude sent there on a spur of the Trans-Mountain line that diverts in Abbottsford.  The fuel is barged up the coast to YVR.

There is a minor part that comes all the way from Edmonton.

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43 minutes ago, Fido said:

The Jet Fuel is mostly refined in Burnaby using crude oil sent down the Trans-Mountain pipeline from Edmonton. The fuel is then sent by pipeline direct to YVR.

Another large part is refined in Cherry Point Washington partly using crude sent there on a spur of the Trans-Mountain line that diverts in Abbottsford.  The fuel is barged up the coast to YVR.

There is a minor part that comes all the way from Edmonton.

Thanks Fido.  Here is how the fuel moves to the airport

Trans Mountain Jet Fuel System

jet-fuel-map-flat1-1.jpgThe Trans Mountain Jet Fuel pipeline system transports jet fuel from the Chevron refinery, Westridge terminal and distribution facilities in the Burnaby area to the Burnaby terminal and then to the Vancouver International Airport terminal.

The 41-km pipeline system has been in operation since 1969. It includes five storage tanks at the Vancouver airport terminal with an overall volume of 7155 m3 (45,000 bbl). The Oil and Gas Commission and the British Columbia Utilities Commission regulate the system.

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I hope he is serious, I guess only time will tell.

March 9, 2018 11:16 am

‘Different perspectives:’ Prime minister adamant Trans Mountain pipeline will be built

By Staff The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the dispute between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion isn’t the first time provinces have disagreed on a project.

Trudeau says there have been many times where provinces have taken what he calls “different perspectives” on a proposal.

READ MORE: British Columbians could be facing gas at $2 to $3 per litre without Alberta oil

He says it’s important that the federal government show leadership to make sure the national interest is served.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is threatening to expand a fight with B.C. over Kinder Morgan’s pipeline by reducing the amount of oil her province ships.

The pipeline dispute began earlier this year when B.C. said it would not allow increased oil shipments until it could do more research on pipeline safety and spill response.

Asked if Notley’s move will spur the federal government to get more aggressive on the project, Trudeau repeated that the pipeline will be built.

“What I have been very clear about is that this project is in the national interest and it will get built,” he said in Regina Friday morning.

“The role of the federal government is to watch out and ensure that the national interest is always protected and promoted. That is what I will continue to do,” Trudeau said.

“We will continue to ensure that we are protecting the environment while growing the economy and working across the country to ensure the projects that are in the national interest — like the Kinder Morgan pipeline — move forward.”

READ MORE: Burnaby RCMP make 6 anti-pipeline demonstration arrests in 4 days

Notley said Thursday that Alberta’s key focus is to get people’s attention about what is at stake. She said the pipeline is economically vital to the province and to the rest of Canada, and the country is already forgoing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost revenue due to pipeline bottlenecks.

The Trudeau government approved the Kinder Morgan project in 2016, but the pipeline has since faced permit fights and challenges from the B.C. government.

The $7.9-billion expansion would triple the amount of Alberta crude going from Edmonton to the port in Burnaby, B.C.


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So much corporate greed.

Canada, like the US has all the energy it could ever use, virtually forever.

IMHO, instead of allowing Corporations to sell the energy off to international markets in a big hurry, the government should be moving to protect the wawcon of North Americans and give them a one up competitively.

Inexpensive energy could fuel 'our' lives and allow people to continue to enjoy all the excesses that have made both Countries so desirable right across the Planet. Inexpensive energy would power our industries and position them to compete on a close to level basis with the global slave labour producers.

Exporting the Country's energy stores for short term investor gain ensures the style of globalization that's been going on for decades now, which has resulted in backsliding McJob based western economies.

Unfortunately, common sense has always given way to corporate greed and with an apathetic populations, it's probably safe to assume the current trend will continue.




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21 minutes ago, DEFCON said:

So much corporate greed.

Canada, like the US has all the energy it could ever use, virtually forever.

IMHO, instead of allowing Corporations to sell the energy off to international markets in a big hurry, the government should be moving to protect the wawcon of North Americans and give them a one up competitively.

Inexpensive energy could fuel 'our' lives and allow people to continue to enjoy all the excesses that have made both Countries so desirable right across the Planet. Inexpensive energy would power our industries and position them to compete on a close to level basis with the global slave labour producers.

Exporting the Country's energy stores for short term investor gain ensures the style of globalization that's been going on for decades now, which has resulted in backsliding McJob based western economies.

Unfortunately, common sense has always given way to corporate greed and with an apathetic populations, it's probably safe to assume the current trend will continue.




Defcon: although some corporations will / could profit they will not be alone. Canada as a whole will profit.  The only way not exporting the oil that would result in inexpensive energy would be if we backed away from stopping using petroleum products and that is not likely to happen. Of course if approval had been won to increase the flow to eastern Canada, that would have taken some of the pressure off of a need (at least for Alberta and Sask) to export our products to foreign markets

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