I am all for energy development. I understand the relationship between the Canadian economy and energy production. And thanks to Enbridge’s (NYSE:ENB, TSE:ENB)intense media campaign in support of pipeline expansion, I also understand that without pipelines, we won’t have hospitals. At least, that appears to be the connection I’m supposed to deduce from their ubiquitous commericals.
I understand that it is, in part, our economic viatlity that makes Canada perhaps the most-prized immigration destination for the rest of the world. But I also understand, embrace, celebrate and defend the other aspect of Canada that makes it such a wonderful country to live in: its natural and pristine environment.
Nowhere in Canada is the unsullied nature of the natural environment more extant than on the West Coast of British Columbia. The first thing that strikes anybody with a functioning sense of smell notices when they step out of the airport is that beautiful, heart-swelling air that fills your lungs with a stimulating mixture of sea and forest scent.
I furthermore comprehend that a lot of Canadians don’t get it, or to be fair, believe that economic interest trumps ecological protection.
Five LNG plants equals 1,000 shipments per year
It is precisely that mentatlity that needs to be guarded against, and is just such a mentality that would embrace the idea of transporting the world’s dirtiest hydrocarbons over mountains and through valleys to our west coast for shiploading and setting sail along said coast where the risk of catastrophe is massive.
The alarming aspect of this whole development is the fact there are multiple applications for multiple pipelines, bitumen facilities and LNG plants that will, completely eradicate the pristine nature of the entire west coast of Canada. The Northern Gateway pipeline, for example, will result in an LNG processing plant that will see 200 ships each year sailing back and forth out of the north from Kitimat.
Currently, there are as many as 5 LNG terminals on the drawing board for the west coast. If each one loads 200 ships per year, thats 1,000 shipments per year plying our notoriously treacherous coast.
The chances of that volume of shipping resulting in no accidents has got to be on the order of “slim to none”.
Sell it all now and suffer in the future
Large energy and shipping corporations are publicly traded companies. That mean the senior managment of these entities are informed by shareholder demand for quarter-on-quarter performance. Corporations do not make provisions for their business out in the distant future. This translates directly into a case where the economic interests of the corporations managing our natural resources are in direct conflict to the economic interests of future Canadians.
If we rush to build all this LNG capacity, and then deplete our reserves of LNG, what condition will that leave the Canadian economy in say, 2050? Surely there must be an obligation to preserve as much as possible cheap energy sources for the future.
People driving corporations who stand to profit directly from the development of LNG export infrastructure are the only ones driving this agenda. Them, and the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
I for one am not willing to fast-track the development of LNG export infrastructure before there has been a methodical long term economic assessment of multiple components of this new endeavour.
We need to stop this process dead in its tracks immediately. The amount of money being directed at PR and lobbying efforts indicates that the democratic process is being hijacked.
We need to subject the questions of LNG export infrastructure development right now.
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