Last week the British Columbia NDP and Green Party signed a pact to join together to govern British Columbia. Part of the pact opposes the twinning of an existing pipeline that would carry Alberta bitumen to tidewater
They oppose it because:
- They oppose the development of oilsands in Alberta in particular and fossil fuel development in general
- They believe it will increase environmental risk from spills and construction
- They worry about tanker spills and increased tanker traffic
They believe they are on the side of the angels and are ready to “color outside the lines” to thwart this pipeline that has already been approved. The tactics they will employ include
- Court challenges
- Tacit support for environmentalist and demonstrations
- Withholding provincial and municipal development approvals
Back in Alberta this idea is met with frustration and anger. Alberta’s Premier is making the case for development based upon:
- The project has been approved
- British Columbia does not have exclusive rights to decide what is shipped off Canada’s western coast
- Pipelines are the safest mode of transportation for oil
- Alberta has made significant efforts to improve environmental outcomes
The federal government has re-iterated its support for the pipeline and a number of Indian leaders have vowed to stop it.
It is clear that the BC government and their environmental and Indian supporters are narrow minded and hypocritical on this issue. They use gasoline, natural gas and oil products but would not see them developed. They receive the benefits of Canada’s economic success; much of which is driven by energy but they suspend that reality to oppose Canadian energy development.
So what is next? Well the political row will unfold. Construction is set to begin this fall. How the BC tactics play out is uncertain.
Severely Normal Albertans have a huge stake in all this. BC has chosen to pick this fight and use this set of tactics. Severely Normal Albertans ought to reply. Tell every BC person you meet about the hypocrisy and illogic in BC’s position. If you are rethinking visiting BC this summer that is one way to demonstrate with your feet!