Opinion: Liberal policy, inaction on pipelines hurting the West – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Posted: July 16, 2021 at 1:25 pm

Breadcrumb Trail Links

The Liberal government is showing hypocrisy in its approach to supporting some pipelines while rejecting others, writes Herb Pinder.

Author of the article:

After more than a decade of pipeline political ping-pong, TC Energy and the Government of Alberta have given up Keystone XL is dead. The anti-pipeline, anti-energy and anti-market protagonists are celebrating a great victory while also saving the planet.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Maybe. While there are many consequences of this rejection, none will enhance Mother Earth.

This pipeline was conceived primarily to move heavy oil from Canadas oilsands to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast configured to process such feedstock. Now denied the least costly and safest sourcing, the first consequence is more U.S. oil imports from countries with lower environmental standards and higher GHG emissions, hardly supportive of the articulated objectives of the activists, the Democratic Party and the White House.

A second long-term consequence is that Canada now fully understands that the U.S. is an unreliable trade partner, many times dishonouring both the spirit and the word of longstanding energy agreements and integrated pipeline system. From the early stages of this full contact ping-pong, the Canadian industry and many political leaders have increasingly come to understand the need for Canadian access to the growing oil-and-gas-hungry nations ofPacificAsia. The construction progress of the TransMountain pipeline is tangible recognition of this need by the owner and developer, the Government of Canada.

Another consequence is economic loss for the U.S., now the worlds largest producer of both oil and natural gas and the largest refiner. In a few decades it has evolved from an importer of both commodities to an exporter. Yet the significant geopolitical advantage of being an energy superpower is diminished by its green policy shift and the violation of energy trade agreements with its major supplier. Further, inconsistencies abound including cancelling Keystone XL while giving the green light to the completion of Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. The U.S. loses stature and Russia gains influence.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

There is further policy confusion as President Joe Biden stands on the sidelines as his friend, theMichigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, attempts to abrogate a recent agreement approving the replacement of Line 5 serving Michigan and Canadian refineries, even after approval by her legislative colleagues.

In Canada, however, there should be no misunderstanding in the West about the real agenda of the federal Liberals. After withdrawing the approval of Northern Gateway, obstructing Energy East, lamely acquiescing to the XL rejection and passing anti-pipeline legislation, the Trudeau government is vehemently supporting Line 5. Tankers off the Atlantic coast and up the St. Lawrence River are fine; but are restricted off the Pacific coast. By way of Bill C-48, Northern Gateway approval was withdrawn. Energy East was obstructed by changing the regulatory rules midstream, and likewise then legitimized by Bill C-69.

Hypocrisy, incompetence and inconsistency you say? Hypocrisy without any doubt. Incompetence yes, as Energy East would strategically assure energy security for all Canadians including especially those from Ontario and Quebec. Inconsistency no, only on the surface.

The deeper political imperative requires Line 5 to protect the Liberals electoral base. More than half of all gasoline in Ontario and Quebec is dependent on Line 5 as well as jet fuel for Torontos Pearson Airport. The Liberals also want to reduce much of the Conservative funding, that since the Stephen Harper days, has originated in Calgary.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

The template was succinctly laid out by Keith Davey, close adviser to the first Trudeau: Screw the west, well take the rest. All about politics and the lust for power consistent as it repugnant.

Herb Pinder is a non-practising lawyer in Saskatoon and a graduate of Harvard Business School. His background includes governance with a particular focus on energy through multiple energy boards and his oil and gas private equity firm.

The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Sign up to receive daily headline news from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

A welcome email is on its way. If you don't see it, please check your junk folder.

The next issue of Saskatoon StarPhoenix Afternoon Headlines will soon be in your inbox.

We encountered an issue signing you up. Please try again

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notificationsyou will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

See the original post:

Opinion: Liberal policy, inaction on pipelines hurting the West - Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Related Post