“But the hard reality is that global oil demand is expected
to keep rising between now and 2040, according to the latest
forecast of the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).
Oil not sourced from Athabasca will be obtained from the emirs
of Kuwait, the perpetual conflict zone Nigeria, or the Siberian oilfields
that enrich the kleptocratic regime of Vladimir Putin.”
There’s a strong possibility that the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan crude oil pipeline from Alberta’s Athabasca tar sands to the B.C. coast will never be built. And that setback will do no small damage to Canada.
It’s been two weeks since the sponsor of the Ottawa-approved $7.4-billion megaproject, Kinder Morgan Inc., suspended all but essential operations on the pipeline.
Kinder Morgan gave Ottawa until May 31 to persuade the Houston-based company that there will be an end to B.C.’s relentless obstruction of the project. The company noted that B.C. “has been clear and public in its intention to use ‘every tool in its toolbox’ to stop the project.”
Since Kinder Morgan’s stunning announcement, the Trudeau government and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley have not been able to dissuade B.C. from its threatened court challenges and relentless calls for studies into every aspect of a project thoroughly examined and approved by the National Energy Board.
It’s rare that the fate of a single project has the potential to disrupt a federation. But it is folly to downplay what’s at stake here. The issue is not the pipeline, but the causes and consequences of the project’s quite possible demise.