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The wind and solar boondoggles that Pembina loves are raising prices to consumers and industry while doing exactly zip for the climate
I suggested in this space on Wednesday that the U.S. State Department’s final Environmental Impact Statement on the Keystone XL pipeline was optimistic — even misleading — in suggesting that “Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project… is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands…”
That’s because the diehard opponents of the oil sands are standing across not just “any one” project, but all of them, and certainly the major pipeline proposals: Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, the expansion of the TransMountain system, and TransCanada’s Energy East proposal.
Sure enough, confirmation of this perspective was provided almost immediately this week when the Pembina Institute – a leading local branch plant of the global environmental NGO cabal and a shill for the renewables industry — produced a report claiming that Energy East threatened “significant” increased emissions of greenhouse gas gases, with “major environmental ramifications.” According to the report, producing the 1.1 million barrels a day of crude that would go into the line would generate “up to 32 millions of tonnes of additional greenhouse gas emissions each year.”
Ooh. Millions of tonnes. Sounds like a lot. Must be scary. But is it?
The scariness is meant to come in the implications for global warming, so does the report tell us what the climate impact of Energy East would be? Of course not. That’s because the impact is immeasurably insignificant.
So how does Pembina provide its version of perspective? By noting that these emissions would be equivalent to putting an additional seven million cars on the road. And?
Anybody who starts talking about emissions in terms of automobile equivalents immediately marks him or herself as more interested in stoking hysteria than providing rational analysis. Nevertheless, this free-floating factoid was dutifully regurgitated by the media, along with the now ritual invocation of “carbon pollution,” even though the issue is not carbon, it’s carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.
Meanwhile wouldn’t seven million new cars on the road be great? Think of the boost to the auto sector. Think of the joy of driving a new car. Naturally, you’re not meant to look at it that way. Cars are evil planet destroyers whose primary purpose is to stuff profits into the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. Can’t you follow the dots?
For the rest of this column, click here: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2014/02/06/peter-foster-pembina-report-on-energy-east-pipeline-drives-logic-off-the-road/