Alberta Soap Box 🇨🇦

Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

Alberta – Pipline Fantasy

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Mackenzie Valley Pipeline still not built

Remember the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline? This project was first proposed in the early 1970s when demand  for natural gas was increasing and peaked to $15.38  MMBtu. It was finally approval in 2011 after prices tumbled to $4.57 MMBtu low. Today in 2016 it’s still not built . 46 years and waiting. How about the twin gateway pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat BC proposed in 2006 to run bitumen to the west and wet gas eastward. Today Alberta premier Notley has completely abandoned the project. And let’s not forget about phase 4 of the Keystone pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska that was under discussion since 2011 which was rejected by Obama in 2015. We can’t forget about the latest Trudeau debacle with the Pacific NorthWest LNG  pipeline approval with 190 conditions. And lastly, how about the new Kinder Morgan expansion pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver? Well, It’s stalled.

Yes, strong opposition from civic governments, First Nations, environmentally concerned citizens, and others have put the kibosh on all of these projects. Billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs halted. All the optimism and cheerleading from our political leaders didn’t amount to a hill of beans. Our politicians are either living in a fantasy land or are simply not serious on helping Alberta get out oil to market.

What I find interesting about Alberta’s landlocked situation and declining revenue is how this will affect the rest of Canada in the long run. While Notley is crossing her fingers that oil prices rise and her government has enough revenue to continue with their wild spending without approving any new oil projects or expanding markets, Ontario’s premier Wynne has all her hopes on a lower dollar propelling Ontario’s  economy. Quebec isn’t any better off with its disappointing slow growth.  To date no eastern premier has a winning hand and is going to be looking for more handouts. Maybe this going to be the perfect storm to force oil opponents to get Alberta pipelines to a sea port? They going to need the petro dollars.

With Ontario on track to rack up $50 billion in new debt between now and 2020-21, the province’s net debt is on track to escalate to a whopping $350 billion. Ben Eisen of the Fraser Institute said “the condition of Ontario’s economy is much less rosy than the government suggests. The fact Ontario now outpaces the national average is partly a function of weakness elsewhere”. The fact is , the high petro dollar that Premier Wynne blamed for Ontario’s problems isn’t the problem with Ontario. It’s Wynne’s management.

Between 2000 and 2014 , Alberta’s individual and corporate taxpayers shipped an estimated $200 billion plus to the federal government. This isn’t chicken feed and is going to be missed. The idea the low Canadian dollar propelling Ontario to great riches isn’t going to be Canada’s saviour as hoped for by the Ontario and federal liberals . As embarrassing as it is they need Alberta’s oil wealth.

I wouldn’t be surprised in the near future , behind closed-door and out of the media, these environmental, holier than thou,  NDP and Liberal governments do a 180 degree reversal and become oil and pipeline friendly. Cash is king. And without cash these left wingers aren’t going to be kings. They need money to spend and Alberta can supply. All Alberta needs is new overseas markets.

Today the politicians are once again tooting up another pipeline. Canada’s Energy East Pipeline Project.  A pipeline from West to East. A 4,600- kilometre pipeline that can carry 1.1-million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in eastern Canada.

I truly hope this isn’t another political fantasy and the need for cash will make it happen.

Written by Ken McGregor

October 3, 2016 at 8:21 pm

One Response

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  1. The pipeline that never was
    The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline was a proposed pipeline that would have taken natural gas from the Beaufort Sea through NWT to connect to existing pipelines in Alberta.
    The benefits to aboriginal people of the area were the following:
    1. They were to be made partners in the pipeline. That gave them a voting spot on the board and a portion of the profits. The Aboriginal Pipeline Group would have a 33.3% stake.
    2. The natural gas (One of cleanest burning fossil fuels) was to be diverted to aboriginal communities along the line route and sold at market value.
    This would greatly reduce the use of diesel (One of the dirtiest burning fossil fuels) as a fuel stock for electrical generation in northern communities which one of their largest local polluters.
    The potential benefits of the line were:
    1. Cheap electrical generation via the gas being utilized in natural gas burning electrical generators.
    2. Cheaply produced electricity via an electrical waste heat generator attached to a natural gas compressor station.
    3. Cheaply produced vegetables via greenhouses attached to the compressor stations.
    The green houses would be heated by the waste heat produced in natural gas compression.
    High food cost in northern communities is one of the largest causes of poor nutrition in the local population.
    4. Potential to twin the line with a fiber optic corridor which would give many opportunities for improved telecommunications with our most northern Canadian communities.
    It was all to be done through cooperation with industry, the Aboriginal groups, and the government regulators.
    Originally proposed in the 1970’s and then resurrected again in 2004. The project was shelved both times due to a long term slump in global natural gas prices.
    This information was rarely if ever reported on in 2004. The 2004 project was opposed by one group, The Deh Cho First Nations. And that was all the CBC and Sun News could talk about. Granted each broadcaster spoke about if from two different perspectives. Both of perspectives however were completely useless.
    There were people in both the 1970’s and early 2000’s who were in a unique position at the time to know about a lot of these details. I guarantee those people exist today with the pipelines currently proposed. It’s a shame you will never hear from any of them.
    Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you with everything you read in the papers or see on the news.
    I would look it up if I were you.
    Still think all pipelines are all bad and Aboriginal groups are always “Bullied” by industry?
    It is a tired and inaccurate narrative continually being produced by both a left and right leaning media that sounds informative and makes you feel smart (But is really making you anything but).
    If people actually spoke to the industry and government regulators and not at them they might be surprised by what they hear.

    Dylan Myeto

    December 30, 2016 at 10:22 am


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