Is anyone in Ottawa paying attention?
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.