Canada Kicks Ass
It’s time for environmentalists to move on from the TMX


bootlegga @ Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:58 pm

It’s time for environmentalists to move on from the Trans Mountain pipeline

The recent trade dispute between Alberta and British Columbia over the Trans Mountain pipeline has raised some difficult questions about the nature of the Canadian federation, the challenge of developing effective climate policy at the national level in a federation, and the intractability of opposing interests.

On the one hand, we have an alignment of interests between the Alberta NDP government and the oil industry. The current pipeline constraints facing the industry are in fact increasing transportation by rail, but more importantly creating a widening gap between the world price of oil and what Alberta receives for its product (WCS). This gap is estimated to potentially cost the oil industry and the government of Alberta over $15 billion per year. This is money that could be leveraged to increase the energy transition in Alberta and beyond, although more explicit details on this are needed to accept this argument more fully.

On the other hand, we have deeply entrenched opposition to the TransMountain pipeline from environmentalists, First Nations, the Lower Mainland municipalities, and the NDP government in B.C. This opposition is driven by two concerns. The first is concern over of what a potential spill would do to Vancouver, English Bay, and the B.C. coast. The second is concern over climate change. If we are serious about mitigating climate change, there is no need for additional fossil fuel infrastructure that facilitates emission growth in the near term. For the sake of this piece, I am setting aside the spill concerns and focusing on the climate change issue specifically.

Continued at: ... -pipeline/