Alberta Soap Box 🇨🇦

Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Update – The Real Oil Sands Pipeline

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pipeline3By now I would think that darn near everyone in North America has heard about the Keystone pipeline posed to go to the US and  the Gateway pipeline that would travel from Edmonton to Kitimat BC . These are the two pipelines that were suppose to transport Alberta Oil Sands across the boarder to the USA and over the ocean to Asia .  But as we all know both are bogged down in red tape and protests and may take years to get off the ground if ever. Obama is going to make a another speech on Thursday that may or may not  approve the Keystone.

But how many know (except PM Harper) there is a pipeline in the works that can ship Alberta bitumen, doesn’t need Obama’s approval to run across the US/Canada border to the US , has support of  the Governors and can carry 600,000 barrels -a-day of Alberta Oil by Mid 2014? An environmentalists nightmare. I’ll bet not many.

It’s real and is called the Flanagan South Pipeline. The proposed Enbridge expansion route will include the Alberta Clipper, line 61, the Seaway pipeline, that are already built, and the new 600 mile Flanagan south that will run from Flanagan to Cushing, Okla. The opening date is tentatively mid 2014. This is great news for Alberta and the rest of Canada that benefits billions of dollars from the Alberta Oil Sands. Its also giving the enviro-RANTERS heart failure and left TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline in the dust.

What makes this pipeline close to a slam dunk is that just recently on November 13, 2013 a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia squashed a request by the Sierra Club and National Wildlife Federation for an immediate injunction against building the Flanagan South Pipeline. The judge basically told them they didn’t have a leg to stand on. They were high on rederic and low on facts. Judge Jackson’s exact words were:

“The plaintiffs have significantly overstated the breadth of federal involvement in the pipeline project and have failed to establish sufficiently that applicable federal statutes and regulations would require the extensive environmental review process that Plaintiffs seek,” Jackson wrote. “Moreover, Plaintiffs have fallen short of demonstrating that irreparable harm will result if the current construction proceeds during the pendency of this litigation, and the Court is not convinced that the balance of harms and public interest factors weigh in Plaintiffs’ favor.”

Another hopeful sign the Flanagan will be built on time is the court ruling on Sunday, August 5, when an Oklahoma Federal Court denied the Sierra Club’s request to stop the Keystone Pipeline’s southern leg, which is being build in the US. Since the Flanagan is also a US pipeline there is no reason to believe the suit that the Sierra Club has pending to deny the permits will succeed.

Adding to the changing mood in the US, a proposed bill, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy on November 19, 2013.  The bill would will make it easier to get permits  for cross-border pipelines and electric transmission facilities by eliminating the Presidential process. Whether or not this bill will pass through the senate remains to be seen.

Even though the Keystone Pipeline and the Gateway may be stalled, there is much going on to get Alberta Oil Sands to market. Steven Harper and the Conservatives have fought a tough battle to get Alberta Oil to the US and Asian markets.  With the new Flanagan Pipeline and shipping oil by rail to the US, it looks like they’re winning. This good news is what Alberta and Canadians have been waiting for to give us the resource revenue to power us through these uncertain times.

Please leave you comment below or Email:  ALBERTASOAPBOX@gmail.com

Written by Ken McGregor

December 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm

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