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Malcolm

Important Enough for It's Own Thread.... Energy

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My nephew stopped in tonight on his way home from the rig.

When he comes back after days off it will be to either put the rig into storage or get it ready to ship to the USA.

His rig only drills for natural gas but the energy companies have given up dealing with the policies of various governments, indigenous peoples and protesters.

  • Sad 2

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But make sure those equalization payments just recently guaranteed by Trudeau keep rolling in cause all Canadians know Quebec is where all the smart people come from.

8B026EF2-52DB-43A5-9EB8-6C55AE0FE715.jpeg

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15 minutes ago, Jaydee said:

But make sure those equalization payments just recently guaranteed by Trudeau keep rolling in cause all Canadians know Quebec is where all the smart people come from.

 

But there is no doubt that Quebec is smarter, like a fox in a hen house, that is.

Quebec Proves Canada's Equalization Payments Are Not Always Equal

Appeared in the Huffington Post

Michael Binnion, CEO of Questerre Energy and head of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association, has a great blog post up in which he discusses the impact that equalization payments have on Quebec's energy and natural resource policy.

Looking at Quebec's budget, Binnion observes:

It seems to me the Quebec budget actually exposes a huge problem and many Quebec commentators have pointed it out. Quebec is being paid by the Federal Government for reduced resource royalties and related taxes. Worse if Quebec increased the price of Hydro, increased its mining royalties or developed its oil and gas discoveries, the Federal Government would penalize them.

What Mr. Binnion is pointing out is the moral hazard inherent in the equalization system, or, for that matter, in most any insurance or social welfare system. According to the OECD, Moral hazard describes behaviour when agents do not bear the full cost of their actions and are thus more likely to take such actions.

There are many examples of moral hazard one could cite, but consider what happens when governments become the disaster insurer of last resort, or otherwise transfer the costs of risk-taking from those who take the risk to those who bear the cost.

As researchers at the Wharton Risk Center observe,

Highly subsidized premiums or premiums artificially compressed by regulations, without clear communication on the actual risk facing individuals and businesses, encourage development of hazard-prone areas in ways that are costly to both the individuals who locate there (when the disaster strikes) as well as others who are likely to incur some of the costs of bailing out victims following the next disaster, either at a state level through ex post residual market assessments or through federal taxes in the case of federal relief or tax breaks.

In the case of Quebec, the people of the province do not have to bear the full cost of their decisions to suppress the economic activities of mining or fossil fuel production, because the rest of Canada will make up foregone revenues through equalization payments. Some people might think that sounds like a good deal: after all, Quebec gets to have a high quality of life without having to dirty its hands with things like energy and natural resource production.

Alas, as the economists say, there's no such thing as a free lunch: with the free ride comes dependency, and eventually decay. As Binnion observes:

The Government of Quebec is like a person on Government assistance. If they get a job their assistance goes down. If they lose a job their assistance goes up. In Provinces like Alberta we need to realize that equalization is not something we do for Quebec - it's something we do to them! A model of producing more than you consume is sustainable for a society, but a model of consuming more than you produce is not.

As Fred McMahon of the Fraser Institute proved in an award-winning essay, the situation is not unique to Quebec -- transfers to Atlantic Canada for economic development can also create economic distortions perversely retarding development in Atlantic Canada:

Government influence in the marketplace also operates through a number of other channels: economic development programs, tax policy and rulings, direct and indirect subsidies, etc. When government does step into the marketplace to influence the distribution of resources, the link between price and the most productive use of a resource is broken, and resources can be misallocated to less efficient uses to the detriment of the economy.

Binnion closes out his blog post on an optimistic note, pointing out that it need not be this way for Quebec, any more than it had to persist in Atlantic Canada:

Newfoundland fought the Federal Government and insisted on a deal that did not penalize them for developing Hibernia or Voisey's Bay. Today Newfoundland is a have province. If it worked for Newfoundland it will work for other Provinces too.

Let us hope that Quebec's public -- and her decision makers -- come to understand the moral hazard of equalization payments and reconsider their antipathy to the valuable economic activities that are energy and natural resource development.

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KEEP FOREIGN MONEY OUT OF OUR FIGHT

 

  • Calgary Sun
  • 23 Jan 2019
  •  

Maybe now that it has the attention of a national CBC audience, will the country wake up to something that Albertans have been warning about for awhile: moneyed U.S. interests are trying to scuttle energy projects outside their own country?

Who pays the price for that, you may ask? Canadians.

The notion that organizations are cheering the “landlocking” of Alberta oil is a disturbing prospect that costs the Canadian economy dearly.

And we’re talking about U.S. groups who seem more interested in funnelling money into Canada to fight Alberta’s oilsands than they seem to be interested in fighting the Americans’ massive oil industry.

It used to be that those opposed to pipelines would pretend you were crazy if you suggested a grand American-funded effort to scuttle projects in Canada.

At least now they’re admitting it’s going on, but they say it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the money from government and oil companies.

But why should we be letting people in other countries determine how we manage our resources?

A lot of this awareness is thanks to the work of Vivian Krause, a Canadian researcher who has been looking into the work being done by wealthy foundations in the U.S. and how their cash is winding up in the hands of pipeline opponents here in Canada.

Krause herself says there’s nothing wrong with mounting campaigns in defence of the environment, in fact many pro-pipeline Canadians feel they want the environment protected.

There are ways to mitigate the carbon output through the burning of fossil fuels: reducing the amount of coal used in power plants, develop more efficient vehicles, and developing more environmentally friendly oilsands extractions processes. And we’ve made strides in those areas. But at the end of the day, Canadians have to ask themselves whether they want the interference of foreign actors, even those with whom they share a desired goal, having sway over our policy discussions, and worse, our elections.

Because we know pipeline politics will play a role in both the federal and provincial elections this year, and foreign money shouldn’t be playing a role.

Not in PACs, not in NGOs, not in our political parties.

Not one bit.

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What Venezuelan turmoil could mean for Canada's oilpatch

More turbulence in Venezuela — including the threat of United States sanctions on its crude oil exports — has Canada's oilpatch watching carefully for how the impact will ripple across the industry.

Less Venezuelan oil could be good news for Canadian producers, but lack of pipelines holds back potential

Tony Seskus · CBC News · Posted: Jan 24, 2019 9:37 AM ET | Last Updated: 15 minutes ago
 
venezuela-politics.jpg
Juan Guaido, president of Venezuela's National Assembly, reacts during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government and to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Caracas on Wednesday. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters)

 

More turbulence in Venezuela — including the threat of United States sanctions on its crude oil exports — has Canada's oilpatch watching carefully for how the impact will ripple across the industry. 

Analysts say sanctions, or a further drop in Venezuelan oil output, could leave American refiners on the hunt for heavy crude from elsewhere, providing a potential price lift for Canadian producers.

But with limited ability to get more oil to the Gulf Coast, some believe the Canadian sector won't be able to seize the additional market share it otherwise might.

 

Longer term, if Venezuela changes political regimes, the upheaval could see the South American country's oil production soar once again — and change the outlook for global prices.

"Any more reduction in Venezuela crude could have an impact on the price of heavy crude for Canadian producers," said Kevin Birn, an oilsands analyst with IHS Markit in Calgary. 

"In terms of our ability to maximize the benefit, we are constrained by our own infrastructure."

Venezuela's political and economic outlook is unclear as opposition leader Juan Guaido and interim president Nicolas Maduro struggle for control of the country.

Traditionally, Canada and Venezuela produce heavy oil that compete for space in the U.S. market. However, Venezuela crude production has fallen dramatically in recent years amid economic and political strife.

"There's been a developing opportunity for Canadian crude, in particular going into the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries," said Allan Fogwill, president of the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

"They were getting most of their heavy crude from Venezuela and Mexico — and a little bit from Canada. Now, with the concerns in Venezuela, that means those refineries are looking north to Canadian producers."

Fogwill said limited pipeline capacity and rising demand for Canadian crude at those refineries is one reason why rail shipments of oil to the United States have been on the rise.

 
venezuela-politics.jpg
Maduro attends a rally in support of his government and to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Caracas on Thursday. (Miraflores Palace/Handout/Reuters)

Last fall, Canadian shipping constraints to the U.S. led to a backlog of oil and steep discounts on Alberta crude. Prices increased significantly when the province imposed mandatory crude production cuts for 2019.

The heavy blend of oil from Alberta's oilsands known as Western Canada Select was trading at $43.47 US a barrel on Thursday, up $1.36 US on anticipation that any decline in Venezuelan crude would result in more demand for WCS.

Rory Johnston, a commodity economist at Scotiabank, said the Canadian heavy crude price could further improve depending on whether the U.S. moves forward with sanctions and what happens with Venezuelan production.

 

"But I think at this stage it's fairly unambiguously bullish for oil prices in the short term," he said.

Robert Fitzmartyn, head of energy institutional research at GMP FirstEnergy, said he'll be watching to see how any related improvement in crude prices filters into the market and Canadian energy stocks.

"The stock market probably responds mildly," Fitzmartyn said.

Longer term, however, there are even more questions.

If there is regime change in Venezuela, oil production could ramp up to more traditional levels and that might come to weigh on oil prices, Johnston said.

"What that likely would mean is actually a slightly more bearish outlook longer term," he said.

"Production has been declining so rapidly there [in Venezuela] that really, at this stage, virtually any alternative governance is likely to be better at managing that production." 

Fogwill said that if Venezuelan production returns to traditional levels, it will have an impact on world prices, too.

"If Venezuela came roaring back ... that could undermine the high price for oil." 

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The B.C. pipeline project you've never heard of — and why it may succeed

While you've likely never heard of the Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline, despite many obstacles it may be the next pipeline across B.C. that gets built, according to the project's CEO.

CEO of Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline project says even West Coast tanker ban can't stop it

Mike Laanela · CBC News · Posted: May 05, 2018 4:00 AM PT | Last Updated: May 6, 2018
 
eagle-spirit-energy-pipeline.jpg
The proposed route for the Eagle Spirit Energy Pipeline would run about 1,562 kilometres from Fort McMurray to a terminal at either Grassy Point, B.C. or Hyder, Alaska. (Eagle Spirit Energy)

You've likely never heard of the Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline, but for the past five years the project's leader has been quietly working on the plan to build the next pipeline across northern B.C.

"We are now putting together a very solid commercial plan for how we are going to do this," said CEO Calvin Helin earlier this week.

Helin is a member of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation located on the north coast near Prince Rupert. That's where the proposed pipeline linking Alberta's oil sands with the West Coast would terminate.

Calvin Helin is a member of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation and CEO and president of Eagle Spirit Energy. (CBC)At 1,500 kilometres in length, the pipeline would carry up to two million barrels of medium to heavy crude oil a day from Fort McMurray to tide water on the West Coast.Estimates put the cost of the project, which has the backing of the Vancouver's Aquilini Investment Group, at $16 billion.While such a proposal might seem foolhardy given the current politics in B.C., Helin is confident his proposal will succeed where others have stumbled or failed of late.Bypassing tanker ban One obstacle any northern pipeline would face is the federal Liberals' oil tanker ban. Bill C-48 is expected to pass final reading in the House of Commons next week. That ban was first announced in November 2016, when the Liberal government halted Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across northwestern B.C.  The Eagle Spirit project has been framed as an alternative to Northern Gateway. If the tanker ban becomes law sometime later this year, it would seemingly render pointless any future crude oil pipelines with terminals on the North Coast. Bill C-48 is expected to become law sometime this year, banning crude oil tankers from B.C.'s north coast. (Chris Corday/CBC)But Helin says he has two possible solutions to bypass the ban. First, his brother John Helin, who is the elected leader of the Lax Kw'alaams Band, has already launched a constitutional challenge in B.C. Supreme Court That lawsuit claims First Nations were not properly consulted on the tanker ban, which he claims is discriminatory and infringes on their Aboriginal title. Take it across the border If the court challenge fails, Eagle Spirit Energy has a plan to avoid the tanker moratorium entirely, Calvin Helin says. He said the group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a landowner across the U.S. border in Hyder, Alaska. The tiny town wants to host the pipeline as an alternative location for the port terminal, Helin said. That landowner is Walter Moa, the president of Roanan Corp, who confirmed he's ready to do a deal to put the terminal on his land if necessary. That would allow the supertankers to load up Alberta crude on the U.S. side of the Portland Channel, thereby avoiding Canada's jurisdiction altogether. Both men say support in Alaska for oil projects runs deep. "Within three weeks of that, we were contacted by the Alaskan government saying they would welcome the terminal with open arms." said Helin. Agreements in principle in place Another major obstacle that Helin claims he's overcome is securing agreements in principle with every one of the First Nations along the proposed route. "That is where we have invested all of our upfront effort," said Helin, who admits it has been a challenging task getting so many First Nations on board. "It's taken us five-and-a-half years," said Helin who is now in the process of finalizing those agreements. "Pretty much we've just about got the whole thing done." eagle-spirit-energy-project.jpgThe leaders of the Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline project say they now have agreements in principle from 35 First Nations along the pipeline route, and are moving toward signing final agreements. (Eagle Spirit energy) Just who is signing those deals remains confidential and protected by non-disclosure agreements.  CBC News has not confirmed they are in place along the entire route. And there is some dispute. While the elected leader of the Lax Kw'alaams Band supports the pipeline, another group called the Lax Kw'alaams Allied Tribes said Eagle Spirit Pipeline supporters failed to consult them and the hereditary leaders support Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act. Several other First Nations along the route have publicly supported the project since it was first announced in 2015, including the Gitxsan and Alberta's Treaty 8 First Nations. Other First Nations leaders who might normally be opposed to such projects, such as Coastal First Nations Board Chair Patrick Kelly, are reluctant to speak critically of it. 'That's the law and I respect it' Even NDP MP Nathan Cullen, who represents the North Coast of B.C. and has supported the tanker ban, says if the project has First Nations support, he would be on board too. "My highest order principles are First Nation rights and title, because that's law and I respect it." said Cullen. He notes the First Nations approach is also getting the attention of major players in Calgary who learned from the mistakes made by Enbridge. transmountain-facility-kamloops-20170327New pipelines have faced significant obstacles in recent years, but the backers of the Eagle Spirit Energy pipeline say they have all the pieces in place for a successful project. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press) As for financing, Helin has already signed an agreement with Altacorp Capital, which is partially owned by the Alberta government, to raise the first $12 billion. His next step, he says, is to put together a team of industry experts that will assemble an application to take to the National Energy Board for sometime in the next year and half. If these obstacles can be overcome, Helin hopes the project could be completed in six years.

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CRAZY IDEAS TO DRIVE PROVINCE’S MESSAGE HOME

Alberta Party’s call for ban on tankers in St. Lawrence Seaway makes a point

  • Calgary Herald
  • 31 Jan 2019
  • KEITH GEREIN kgerein@postmedia.com twitter.com/ keithgerein
img?regionKey=aQHjAhmCUoiydQ9LoKeS9g%3d%3dRONALD ZAJAC/FILES The oil and chemical tanker Esta Desgagnes makes her way west on the St. Lawrence River in Brockville, Ont. The Alberta Party said in a news release this week that if Ottawa is truly serious about protecting marine habitats, then prohibiting oil tankers should apply to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts equally.

It’s no secret Albertans are feeling a bit indignant at many of their fellow Canadians these days.

The list of grievances has grown so long over the past year that it’s been hard to keep track.

Pipeline delays. Overly rigorous changes to the approval process. Obstructionist governments in B.C. and Quebec. Apathy from Ottawa to buy rail cars. A tanker ban that seems to ban only Alberta petroleum products. Equalization.

The frustration many Albertans feel from such issues comes in a couple of different forms.

One is the knowledge that rectification is largely beyond the control of the province, which is landlocked and has less than 12 per cent of Canada’s population.

The second is the thick sheen of hypocrisy that clings to such injustices, in which Alberta and its primary industry have been seemingly singled out for treatment that isn’t being extended to everyone.

It was for that reason I viewed with interest a proposal from the Alberta Party this week calling for a tanker ban in the St. Lawrence Seaway, if not the entire East Coast.

If Ottawa were truly serious about protecting marine habitats, then prohibiting oil tankers should apply to the Atlantic and Pacific equally, the party said in a news release, noting the endangered status of the Beluga whale in the St. Lawrence.

The demand is ludicrous of course. The federal government says that 82 million tonnes of petroleum products are moved in and out of Atlantic Canada each year, while Quebec sees movement of 25 million tonnes.

The Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping suggests the totals are even higher, but whatever the numbers, the traffic is substantial enough that no federal government would ever consider a moratorium.

Nonetheless, the Alberta Party’s proposal serves as an effective tool for highlighting the hypocrisy of Bill C-48.

It got me thinking, what else could Alberta propose to bring attention to the disparity it faces?

One idea that came to mind was a ban on open-net fish farms, which threaten wild fish populations. The idea already seems to be gaining traction in B.C., but if it fails to materialize, Alberta could consider implementing its own ban on farmed fish.

I’ll miss the occasional sushi lunch, but I’ll just have to find another way to get my dose of Omega-3s.

Or if we really want to protect our oceans, perhaps there should be a prohibition on Victoria’s practice of flushing sewage into the Pacific Ocean — a proposal that seems eminently reasonable for a city considering a class-action lawsuit against oil companies.

Staying with the lawsuit theme, perhaps Alberta could consider launching court action against B.C. to recover policing and medical costs resulting from that province’s illegal pot industry.

In the same vein, is it a fair question to ask how much of the fentanyl that has killed more than 1,400 Albertans over the last three years came through B.C.?

Switching to the other side of the country, if Quebec’s leaders aren’t interested in helping Alberta’s energy industry, then surely they won’t have objections to our province calling for an end to dairy subsidies.

The same should go for Bombardier, which has received billions in federal assistance despite a track record that could best be described as troubled.

After all, if Quebec’s environmental conscience is unwilling to facilitate pipelines to carry Alberta oil, should it be demanding support for a company building planes, trains and automobiles that burn fuel?

Though it didn’t get enough attention at the time, I was pleased to see the Alberta government’s decision in November to launch an overdue trade challenge against Ontario for inhibiting Alberta liquor products to be sold in that province.

Still, I think we can go further to underline the harm of trade barriers. There’s lots of potential avenues.

Highway tolls on vehicles with Ontario licence plates. Applying international tuition to Ontario students wanting to attend Alberta universities. Extra charges for out-of-province patients who come here for transplant surgeries. Special airport landing fees. Differential hotel taxes.

To be clear, I don’t like suggesting these ideas. Most, if not all, are irrational, damaging and narcissistic.

But then, so too are the attitudes of leaders in Ottawa and other provinces who seem to have sacrificed national prosperity for personal political gain.

Perhaps merely proposing some of these extreme actions might help to raise awareness that our country is acting less and less like a unified federation and more like a bunch of squabbling teenagers at the dinner table.

Ultimately we are lucky to be a part of Canada, which at least makes some effort at environmental protection, action on climate change and respect for Indigenous rights.

Those principles are vital, but applying them must be fair and consistent, rather than singling out one province or industry to carry the burden while allowing others to make exceptions for themselves.

On that score, Alberta is legitimately aggrieved, but we may need to work harder to show it.

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This could be good for Canada.

Pembina partners with Kuwait Petrochemicals for $4.5B upgrader

Pembina Pipeline Corp. says it is going ahead with its joint venture with Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Co. to build an integrated propane dehydrogenation plant and polypropylene upgrading facility in Alberta.

Propane dehydrogenation plant and polypropylene upgrading facility to be built in Alberta

The Canadian Press · Posted: Feb 04, 2019 10:25 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago
 
pembina-kuwait-20190204.jpg
Pembina Pipeline Corp. says it is going ahead with a $4.5=billion joint venture with Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Co. to build an integrated propane dehydrogenation plant and polypropylene upgrading facility. (Canadian Press)

Pembina Pipeline Corp. says it is going ahead with its joint venture with Kuwait's Petrochemical Industries Co. to build an integrated propane dehydrogenation plant and polypropylene upgrading facility in Alberta.

The project is estimated to cost $4.5 billion including the plants and supporting facilities.

Pembina's share will be $2.5 billion including a 50 per cent interest in the joint venture, which will own the plants, and a 100 per cent stake in the supporting facilities.

The facility will be located adjacent to Pembina's Redwater fractionation complex and will consume about 23,000 barrels per day of propane. Pembina says it is close to an abundant supply of propane. 

It will have nameplate capacity of 550,000 tonnes of polypropylene per year, a polymer used in automobiles, medical devices, food packaging, home electronic appliances and many other consumer products.

The facility is expected to be in-service in mid-2023.

Pembina will own the facilities and provide services under a long-term arrangement, while the Kuwaiti partner is providing financing.

Pembina president Mike Dilger says the project is part of a "strategy to secure global market prices for customers' hydrocarbons produced in western Canada." 

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Social engineering should not decide pipeline’s fate

 

  • Calgary Herald
  • 13 Feb 2019
  • DAVID STAPLES
img?regionKey=lCz9UzH4B8cBCNHtE1t2cw%3d%3dTHE CANADIAN PRESS Legal specialist Andrew Roman says the process for assessing pipeline projects should be less political, more technical.

How can we fix the Trudeau government’s botched legislation for assessing pipeline projects?

Andrew Roman, the legal expert who so impressed Canada’s oil and gas industry with his piercing critique of proposed federal regulations, has now published a detailed list of changes that are necessary for Bill C-69, the government’s new bill for assessing major industrial projects.

Suits and Boots, the pro-pipeline organization lobbying the Canadian Senate to either kill or drastically alter C-69, hails Roman’s work. “Mr. Roman’s views and opinions on Bill C-69 are thoughtful, considerate and right-on-the-money,” says Suits and Boots founder Rick Peterson, an Edmonton businessman.

Roman comes at C-69 from a unique position: he’s retired from his Toronto law firm, he’s non-partisan, and he’s immensely experienced. He worked in administrative law for more than 45 years, including on numerous environmental cases, representing government, business and Indigenous groups.

His entirely sensible prescription for C-69? Roman wants to drain the overt politics and bureaucratic bloat from the regulation. He advocates eliminating the numerous new litigation triggers in C-69, thus allowing private companies to proceed in responsible fashion without being compelled by our government or our courts, as C-69 would have it, to bear the weight of the world on issues such as climate change and sex and gender relations.

It’s crucial to remember that pipelines aren’t all-powerful world-killing bogeymen. As Roman says: “The degree of public alarm over pipelines is out of all proportion to the environmental and social risks they actually pose.”

It’s also the case that pipeline hearings were never designed to save the world and bring peace everlasting. They’re supposed to make sure oil moves safely through an underground pipe and to fairly address the interests of landowners and Indigenous groups along the route.

Is that tried-and-tested approach really so bad? Is that not, in fact, sound government regulation? Why load up the process with social and global green issues?

“The (Trudeau) government has lots of worthy objectives,” Roman says. “They just don’t have anything to do with assessing the pipeline. So don’t put all the worthy objectives that represent the total Canadian government policy on top of this poor, little statute that is supposed to look at a skinny, little piece of pipe underground.”

Indeed, the government has abundant resources, power and numerous laws already in place to deal with human rights or criminal acts around sex and gender, as well as numerous laws and policies to deal with climate change, such as the imposition of a carbon tax.

Nonetheless, the regulator will be compelled to dive into speculative and/or tangential areas, turning the hearing into a slow drip of repeated concern and complaint.

“This could be a 10-year pipeline hearing ...” Roman says. “You’ll never finish.”

C-69 requires the new regulators, the Impact Assessment Agency, to consider more than 20 factors before approving a project. Each factor could be a trigger to challenge the final decision in court. These mandatory considerations should be axed, replaced with the notion that the regulators may consider these factors, not that they must do so, Roman says.

Instead of this ballooning list of must-do considerations, the Trudeau government would be better off simply to appoint the best, most qualified, trustworthy and socially conscious people to conduct the impact assessment and let them do their jobs, Roman says. “Is it really necessary to attempt through law to program them like robots?”

Another problem with C-69 is it’s far too political. In the past, the National Energy Board used to hear all the technical and scientific evidence then decide to proceed or not.

If some third party didn’t like the NEB decision, it could appeal to federal cabinet. Roman was involved in five such appeals himself.

But Stephen Harper’s government wrong-headedly changed that dynamic, giving cabinet the final call. Under C-69, political influence is even more overt. The federal environment minister has several windows to kill or delay a project and can do so with minimal explanation, giving her what amounts to “draconian power,” Roman says.

We should go back to the old model, where the expert board decided, Roman says. “It is 98 per cent a technical decision, and two per cent a social and political decision, and yet we’ve made it work the other way.”

This other way unfortunately appears to be the Trudeau way. It’s to over-reach, to turn what should be a technical and scientific review of environmental issues into a showy socio-political tribunal.

This aggressive progressive approach may well please Trudeau’s base. It will also be the end of pipeline projects.

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The government needs to grow a set and just build the damned pipeline.  While I am probably reaching a bit with this government, they need to do what is in the best interest of the country and that is getting our product to international markes in the most cost effective way possible while in turn mitigating any risk associated.

Let them do their damned job.

 

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