June 23rd, 2018

Alberta partnering with polluters

By Letter to the Editor on January 11, 2017.

Re: “Pipeline approvals show climate leadership pays dividends: NDP,” Dec. 12

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips’ column, celebrating the fundamentally flawed federal approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain “dilbit” Pipeline Expansion shows confusion and ignorance levels far beyond former environment minister Ty Lund’s obsession for more highways in our national parks, and former environment minister Ralph Klein’s pushing to violate federal court stop-orders to illegally continue Oldman River Dam construction without the required permits.

Our current Trans Mountain Pipeline has so far recorded more than 80 spills; and Kinder Morgan related companies have long histories of avoiding correct pipeline inspection, maintenance, safety and spill procedures, not mentioning their conflicts of interest. Despite this, Phillips doesn’t object to Kinder Morgan hiding their secret spill-response plans, shamelessly ignoring that dilbit spills are extremely dangerous and impossible to contain or properly clean up; and she also avoids the potential compromise of partially refining/upgrading our dilbit into safer and easier to manage liquids that potentially double Alberta’s oil exports without adding more problematic pipelines.

Phillips’ column also avoids explaining how much the extra $3 per barrel received by multinational companies will benefit our government or the average Albertan, given that our price of gasoline will also rise as we exchange our “Alberta discount” for “tidewater pricing.” Why so desperate to endanger our B.C. “partners” to fuel Chinese fascism, genocide, and slavery with Alberta oil?

Her feeble approach and “Climate Leadership Scam” does little to improve Alberta’s hard-earned long-term Progressive Conservative reputation as Alberta pollutes more than Ontario and Quebec’s 23 million people combined, and we’ll be polluting more than the entire rest of Canada by 2030 following her “Plan” Alberta only leads in “making climate change happen” as Alberta’s current annual emissions of 274 million tonnes of CO2e (70 tonnes CO2e/Albertan) only goes to 270 million tonnes in 2030 by replacing coal with bitumen. Her pathetic carbon levy scheme subsidizes large emitters and ignores the most destructive industries, namely agriculture and especially animal foods, by exempting purple-gas/diesel, Methane (up to 130 times worse than CO2) and NitrousOxide (298 times worse than CO2).

Pipeline dilbit spills in Burnaby (Trans Mountain 2007), Saskatchewan (Husky 2016) and Michigan (Enbridge 2012) have still not been properly cleaned up, with Michigan’s Kalamazoo River “Alberta Dilbit” spill being widely branded across the U.S. as “The spill from hell.”

Why is Environment Minister Phillips partnering with polluters to promote Alberta-dilbit pipelines, as industry spokesperson or “Hell’s ambassador?”

Atul Jain


(The writer is organizer with CAUSE, Citizens Advocating Use of Sustainable Energy.)

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