Keystone Protest - Too little, too late

I notice with interest the kerfuffle in the USA and Canada about the Keystone pipeline. After some considerable length of time, people are finally starting to think about this project. It is nice to see people taking notice but in truth, it is to little to late.

The truth is that Keystone is just one of many pipeline projects which will soon be pumping our natural resources south to be processed and to feed the hungry American market.  

The controversy over these pipelines isn't new. In June of 2007 I wrote the following letter to the editor about the issue for my employer at the time. 

Too bad no one paid any attention back then when it was still stoppable.

As the Multinationals get rich shipping Western Canada's raw materials south to feed the American market, Canada still imports a majority of the oil it uses from off shore, mainly the North Sea and the Middle East. There is no talk of building east-west pipelines to supply eastern Canada with western crude.

Is anyone in Ottawa paying attention?
Leader Post readers may have seen a notice placed by the National Energy Board (NEB) about an application filed by Enbridge Pipelines dealing with their “Southern Lights Project.” As we read through our morning paper, the NEB notice is the sort of thing most of us skim over, but we would benefit from taking a closer look.

The application, in part, asks that a pipeline which now moves crude oil south into the United States be converted to transport ‘diluent’ north to Alberta. Diluent is basically a thinner used to dilute heavy oil and reduce its viscosity for easier transportation.

Coincidentally, in the same edition of the newspaper, Enbridge announced it is holding an open house in Grand Coulee to explain their Alberta Clipper Project: A new pipeline designed to transport an increased capacity to the USA.

Using names like Alberta Clipper and Southern Lights, Enbridge makes these projects sound like some grand adventure instead of what they really are. These projects and similar ones by several pipeline companies are part of a grand scheme to move massive amounts of our unrefined natural resources south of the border for processing.

The diluent, produced in the USA, will be pumped from American refineries to Alberta, where it will be used to dilute bitumen, which has been extracted from the Alberta Oil Sands. When the huge new Alberta Oil Sands expansion projects are up and running, millions of barrels per day of diluted but unprocessed bitumen will be pumped south to the United States where it will be refined. This new source of oil will create thousands of jobs in the U.S., as refineries are expanded to deal with this new source of product. As well, several billions of dollars in building and upgrading facilities to handle the bitumen will be spent in the U.S. instead of in our own country.”

In the meantime, the multi national oil companies have mothballed a large number of refineries in Eastern Canada. These refineries could be upgraded and brought back on line if Canada insisted.

If Canadian citizens don’t speak out, all of the new jobs – other than a few short term jobs created during the construction and conversion stage – will be created in the United States, instead of here at home.

Although Canada produces more oil than it needs, if we continue to export to the United States in this way, Canada will continue to be an importer of crude oil and petroleum products. As demand increases, we will be buying our own resources back from the USA in the form of gasoline, if they choose to sell it to us.

The NEB doesn’t care, our Governments don’t seem to care but Canadians should. We are speaking out and challenging the National Energy Board policy. We urge you to do the same.


  1. the endless pump of puppy down the well and if its extreme weather its headline news
    keeps most from recognizing issues of importance
    because they are under reported
    course i'm a conspiracy nut
    they threw most of us overboard years ago
    and simply farm the rest of us

    people are the last resource that we are not running out of
    makes us all disposable

  2. "There is no talk of building east-west pipelines to supply eastern Canada with western crude."

    I found this to be rather ironic, it reminded me of my father who worked for Dome Pete. until he retired in the early 80's. He became a "Western Separatist" over this very issue.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.


Agree or disagree, I would love to hear from anyone who visits the site