If you have scant time and not enough to read the entire article, read the first paragraph to see how important Canada believes the pipeline to be.
The Following comes from EnergyWire:
Canada’s condemnations stem from President Obama’s January decision to reject a permit for Keystone XL. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would never again be “held hostage” to U.S. politics, adding that some Americans view his country as “one giant national park.” Oil that had once been destined for the U.S. Gulf Coast would now be sent to other countries, especially China, he said.
Three new pipeline networks have been proposed, two of which will branch out west from Alberta and the other east. Enbridge Inc.’s westward Northern Gateway Pipelines network would carry more oil than Keystone XL would, and it would bring it to Canada’s Pacific coast for export to Asia. But even with aggressive government backing, the new pipelines may prove just as difficult to build.
The lines would need to cross indigenous lands as well as British Columbia and Quebec, where public opinion tends to be against pipelines and fossil fuel development. The City Council in Vancouver, British Columbia, recently passed a motion requiring pipeline companies to assume full liability for the economic and environmental costs of a worst-case spill.
“It’s poetic justice that Vancouver, the birthplace of Greenpeace, stands between the last big oil deposit on Earth and the expanding markets in Asia,” said Ben West, campaigner for the Wilderness Committee, a consortium of environmental groups. “I’d anticipate it won’t get built for years.”
The U.S. Congress is not expected to revisit Keystone XL before next year, although its builder, TransCanada Corp., has reapplied for a permit. The United States could also be drawn into the fray over other routes, including Canada’s proposed eastern pipeline’s possible dip into a Portland, Maine, tanker port by way of Vermont. Such a project was proposed in 2008 but was dropped with the onset of the recession.
While a State Department spokesman said no one has inquired about reviving the project, New England residents are organizing against it.
Without a reliable exit, Canadian oil could continue to trade about $30 a barrel lower than other crudes, said Todd Nogier, an Enbridge spokesman. The company estimates its westbound network would increase the nation’s gross domestic product by $270 billion over 30 years. Chinese companies have already invested in Canadian oil sands.
Environmentalists say transport of bitumen, the form in which oil sands are exported, requires too many chemicals and emits too much carbon dioxide to be considered an economic fuel choice. A U.S. Pipeline Safety and Hazardous Materials Administration report to determine whether bitumen is more corrosive and spill-prone than conventional crude is due next year (Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times, June 13). — PK
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