I felt sad upon hearing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project.
The National Energy Board reviews of the project were flawed. It ruled jobs and the economy were outside of its mandate; yet that’s the reason the PM approved the project.
Promises of world-class cleanup technologies are meaningless. Bitumen cannot be cleaned up. The only test Kinder Morgan did in that regard was add saltwater to a tank of fresh water and then added oil. It declared that was duplicating the conditions in the Burrard Inlet. Yup, it sure does.
Even an economic argument does not stand up to scrutiny. The reality is that Asian markets pay less, not more, for the bitumen that Canada wants to sell than U.S. refineries. The financial cost (even ignoring the environmental one) would be catastrophic and irreparable.
A wise man once said: When given two options, pick the third. We need to stop pretending the choices are either jobs or environment. To do that, to move past contradiction into the third option is to move toward green energy and begin to enhance and subsidize those industries just as we have oil for these many decades.
It won’t take much subsidy because even now there’s more green jobs than is provided by the fossil fuel industry.
It’s time to make a shift. It’s time to stop asking: What now? And ask: What’s next?