May 26th, 2017

Why is Alberta gov’t partnering with polluters?

By Letter to the Editor on January 5, 2017.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips’ Dec. 15 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 over 80 spills; and Kinder Morgan-related companies have long and “felonious” histories regarding pipeline inspection, maintenance, safety and spill procedures, not to mention 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 negative 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 per Albertan) only goes to 270 million tonnes in 2030 by replacing coal with bitumen. Her government’s 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 nitrous oxide (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?

Atul Jain

Organizer, Citizens Advocating Use of Sustainable Energy (CAUSE)


7 Responses to “Why is Alberta gov’t partnering with polluters?”

  1. Dr-moo says:

    I won’t debate the thoughts put forward regarding pipelines in this letter. However, i will challenge the egregious misrepresentation of facts regarding agriculture. According to the IPCC, methane has 25x the effect of CO2, not 130x as claimed in this letter. Animal agriculture in Alberta is responsible for keeping a lot of marginal land in pasture and forage production rather than being cultivated. These pastures and rangelands are an enormous carbon sink that is seldom given its due. The author should be ashamed of themselves for blatantly promoting fake information.

    • Ruby Khan says:

      Methane is between 20x-135x worse than Carbon Dioxide depending on how it is measured. (The letter said “up to 130x”)

      The more land that is left alone by humans, the better off the planet is.

      The Agriculture Industry should be treated like any other industry and they do not deserve a free pass to pollute or destroy our planet.

      Dr. moo Please do some research and get educated, before you get overly emotional and start attacking people for no reason.

    • John P Nightingale says:

      A recent article in Scientific American points out that the “potential” for methane as a global warming precursor, varies according to the time frame used. Over a 100 year period , methane is “34 X ” more potent (than CO2). But when measured over a 20 year period , that number becomes “86 X” more.
      The latter number is considered to be a more accurate indicator of methane’s potential impact at least over the short term.
      As with any debate and this thread is no different, both author (Jain) and DrM rely on cherry picked information to advance their arguments.

  2. biff says:

    i will avoid the math, because it is only an nth of the real issues. the writer has brought forward points to consider around pollution, the scourge that are pipelines, and further expounds on the too often overlooked effects of livestock farming. moreover, we are so used to our awful dealings with the world’s largest human rights abuser – china – that we overlook that we are poisoning ourselves in order to fuel their economy. we had no actual issues with regard to letting china buy directly into our mining industries, and allowed at least one of their companies operating in bc to avoid hiring local canadians while permitting them to fill their needs with chinese nationals. we need to get a grip – we all understand you reap what you sow. maybe it is time we start to acknowledge a healthy fear of the reaper. meanwhile, if there is shame to be had, dr-moo is picking at straws while overlooking bales of evidence the writer provides to support their points.

  3. Ruby Khan says:

    Citizens Advocating Use of Sustainable Energy discussion forums:

  4. Incal says:

    You know, I felt the writer’s pitch was pretty feverish and over-dramatized, although our local anti-firepit activist outdoes him in wordy, scenery-chewing emotion. Still, this is what “hair on fire” looks like, and nothing grows it like the magickal thinking of the Impending Environmental Doom scare. Thoughtforms like it led Meso-American civilizations to human sacrificings, in vast numbers, as the only way to ensure the sun would rise next day. The sacrificers believed the burden was all on them to ensure the bloodflow that preserved the natural order. To a lesser extent, and with different emphases, AGW true believers hold a similar burden.

    Still, I was pleasantly surprised by the novelty of Shannon Phillips, of all people, being criticized from the left. The sacrifice for Atul Jain at this point is having nothing good to say about anybody or anything.

  5. wheatking5 says:

    When the writer states 80 spills have occurred, why not include the period of time this number reflects and the impacts that occurred? This is since 1961 and 45 releases occurred before 1990. No mention of volumes or where they occurred. Many were at stations and tank farms, not on the pipeline itself. Some were also below the reportable limit. Think about the advances in technology since 1961. A new pipeline should be safer just as your automobile of today. I would gladly see a new pipeline rather than an old clunker in my backyard.

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