Energy policy is the NDP's Achilles heel

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KenS

Bakken oil shipments are a ticking time bomb. Think Lac Megantic in the Chicago sprawl.... through which ALL of it passes.

And while bitumen is the opposite end of the spectrum of volatility / explosiveness... so think bitumen shipped on the same scale as light Bakken oil: what has to happen first, for the explosions to be possible?

Multi-car derailments that dump huge amounts of oil.

So when bitumen is shipped by rail on the same scale as Bakken oil, there WILL be derailments. [3 major ones for Bakken oil in 6 months.]

No explosions. [Probably.] "Just" numerous large spills.

Aristotleded24

KenS wrote:
Even without anything in particualr to go on, there is no compelling reason to acquiesce to pipelines because rail transport is worse.

Fight pipelines. And figure out how to fight rail transport.

And I doubt we are far from the latter. [There is the little detail that it is insane.]

Energy demand is the problem there, Ken. That's why campaigns about blocking Keystone XL or the Northern Gateway miss the point. Where is that oil going? Those locations need to move to more stable forms of energy, thereby reducing the demand for oil and reducing the need to transport it. I've said several times that we need to hear more from Mulcair on how we get to that positive place, as opposed to putting up roadblocks to try to stop things we don't want.

KenS

Ernie Cray wrote:
All I am saying is if the choice is pipe or rail, I'd opt for pipe baby.

Our choice is not between the best option vs. the worst option. In life, it's often between the worst choice vs. the least worst choice.

 

Acquiescing to pipelines because rail is worse- especially rail through your land- is stupid.

Understandable error. But still stupid.

Because the rail option is sold- and does not require the political and regulatory vetting of pipelines- on its own merits.

Rail option new capacity is added because the economics work even with the pipeline alternative being built.

Rail comes first. Anyway. Then the pipelines.

If you dont want rail oil through your home, there are no shortcuts. You have to fight it directly.

felixr

That East-West pipeline will never get built. The cost, the much weaker business case, and the Everest-sized mountain of permitting, regulation, and intergovernmental cooperation that it would require, relegate it to laughingstock. That being said, Mulcair will be able to look like a fool to people in the West while he continues insisting on building it, while there are literally a half dozen more efficient proposals waiting to break ground. It looks extremely bad that he is so insistent on it, and opposed to everything else, when people know his caucus comes almost entirely from Quebec. This is a reprise of Ed Broadbent and Meech Lake.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

...what ken said. people are demanding participatory democracy. movements are expressing this more deeply by the day. the resistance needs to be taken seriously. the indiginous demand for autonomy must be taken seriously. nation to nation. no energy expanasion without this. no promises of future rewards will do. no more abuse this must change.

Piqueteros: the revolution without face or time

Inspired by the Zapatistas, the piqueteros of Argentina have been developing their own project of autonomy through cooperatives and mutual aid networks.

http://roarmag.org/2014/01/zapatistas-piqueteros-movements-power/


KenS

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Energy demand is the problem there, Ken. That's why campaigns about blocking Keystone XL or the Northern Gateway miss the point. Where is that oil going?

They dont miss the point.

At bottom, those campaigns say "I have a right to say not on my doorstep." Climate change and people joining from other places broaden that point, but without the NIMBY basis, there are no campaigns.

And those campaigns add up. Continent-wide, the docile would be "hosts" have become a minority.

Those campaigns are not the whole point. But that's another story [and those campaigns do contribute to the 'bigger picture'].

Aristotleded24

KenS wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:
Energy demand is the problem there, Ken. That's why campaigns about blocking Keystone XL or the Northern Gateway miss the point. Where is that oil going?

They dont miss the point.

At bottom, those campaigns say "I have a right to say not on my doorstep." Climate change and people joining from other places broaden that point, but without the NIMBY basis, there are no campaigns.

And those campaigns add up. Continent-wide, the docile would be "hosts" have become a minority.

Those campaigns are not the whole point. But that's another story [and those campaigns do contribute to the 'bigger picture'].

The fact is that the oil companies have the legal resources to get around such local opposition anyways. It's one thing to say people have the right to refuse dangerous transportation of oil through their communities, and I believe part of these education campaigns would be to go to places using the oil and say, "see the impact of oil on these communities, let's go renewable," in the same way that we in North America were encouraged to boycott rainforest beef. The fall-back argument, when it comes to transporting oil by pipeline or train is, "people need oil and we have to get it to them somehow." What I'm saying is that a positive vision of how people replace oil is an important component, otherwise it's too easy to be dismissed as "anti-everything."

Centrist

KenS wrote:
West - East is feasible because it is building a constellation of strange bedfellows to neutralize the level of opposition encountered by Keystone and Northern Gateway.

I agree. Even the Cons obviously support the project.

Problem is that it is the conversion of Trans-Canada's 1950's-era natural gas pipeline all the way to eastern Quebec and will open up another huge environmental and FN Pandora's Box. Unlike other pipeline proposals, which are completely new pipe based upon modern design standards, the east-west pipeline is old pipe that has previously had a history of natural gas leaks. And now it will carry bitumen. Just saying.

And back to BC. I can already seen the narrative changing here from anti-pipeline v. ambivalent/pro-pipeline to rail v. pipeline and the lesser of evils. Will again completely change the current political dynamic out here.

Task force report probes oil-by-rail in case pipelines aren't approved

Steven Chua, The Canadian Press 
Published Sunday, January 5, 2014 11:51AM PST 

VANCOUVER -- A task force report has been handed in to the British Columbia and Alberta governments that examines the idea of transporting oilsands' crude via rail if proposed pipelines don't get the green light, government documents show.

A joint provincial working group was announced by premiers Christy Clark and Alison Redford in July to develop recommendations related to energy exports and the opening of new export markets for products like bitumen for the two provinces, including pipeline and rail transport.

"Rail can be considered a viable alternative to pipeline movement based on costs of transport," the terms of reference for the group states. "If pipelines are not developed, rail will step into the void to deliver bitumen to the West Coast."

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/task-force-report-probes-oil-by-rail-in-case-pipelines-aren-t-approved-1.1618591#ixzz2paUV5xrC

Stockholm

Why not airlift bitumen. If they could fly supplies into West Berlin by air - why not avoid a pipeline and transporting bitument by rail and instead have sqaudrons of cargo planes flying the stuff from Fort Mac - non-stop to Shanghai!

NorthReport
Policywonk

felixr wrote:

The NDP has become the anti-development party. There isn't a project they won't say no to. The projects they propose as alternatives are castles in the sky, much more complex, no more safe, way more convoluted, bureaucratic, and with poorer business cases- HOWEVER, they do have the threads in common of a) diverting Western Canada's resources eastward and b) standing side by side with some union or other than represents .0001% of the population and .001 % of the workforce. Mulcair's NDP is heading for complete electoral disaster with its current economic policies. No amount of "messaging" will spare the NDP from the fact that it is blowing against the political, economic, and social winds of its time and is going to get hammered for doing so.

If we give in to the political, economic, and social winds of our time when they are contrary to the environment winds then we are cowards and fools indeed. To say nothing of accepting increasing gross inequality.

KenS

Which brings us back to BC politics, and the new[ly overt] kissy kissy with Alberta over oil transport.

Particularly that agreement to use rail, "if" pipelines are getting stalled.

There is no 'if' to that. And for that reason, at least one big new rail terminal in Fort MacMurray is nearing completion, and I think at least one is in early construction stages. [These things are big, even if dwarfed by the size of the extraction and processing infrastructure.]

The economics that drive that is that the terminals will pay their way with the bitumen ending up at the US refineries on the Gulf. Export through BC, if they get it, will be icing on the cake. and Christy Clark is saying yes.

We shall see about that.

Because the lying BCLibs feel it is politically safe to say yes. And it probably is safe [enough] for them. Now.

But that is in the context of governments keeping their heads in the sand about rail transport. They tinker away on [eventually] tightening up trasport safely details. But no one talks about the elephant in the room: the rapid ramping up of the amount of oil by rail. So when and if they manage to gradually bring down the number of 'incidents' per mile.... that will be blown out of the water by the increase in shipping.

Tick, tick, tick.

And not everybody that has to play host to those rail cars is going to sit around and wait for the next big disaster to galvanize them. Think Fraser Canyon, and Lower Mainland.

KenS

Aristotleded24 wrote:

The fact is that the oil companies have the legal resources to get around such local opposition [to oil by rail] anyways. It's one thing to say people have the right to refuse dangerous transportation of oil through their communities.....

You are looking at only the tip of the iceberg, and taking a static snapshot view of what is changing rapidly.

Do you really think that the balance of tools of power is going to stay the same as the rail accidents predictably pile up?

That state, provincial and federal governments will have the luxury of contnuing to sit on their hands and not change the regulatory structure to become substantially more like the hoops pipelines have to go through?

[Nor is Harper making those pipeline hoops easier the last word.]

The ground has shifted. Oil transportation projects used to be effectively a done deal. Now, just when they need a lot more of them, it takes way too long to get them approved.

Oil companies and their governing handmaidens of course do not just give up. So the response for the short term situation is an exponential leap in rail capacity, because there is no regulatory slowing of that. Now.

The pipelines currently being fought over will ultimately mostly be built. But its never fast enough for them. And the regulatory process for rail- at least its current jet speed- will change when the public noise ramps up.

Plus the fact of all this amorphous 'negativity' accumulating around the petro industry. Their 'social licence' to do their thing is constricting. They can get anything they want in Alberta, Texas and North Dakota. But they have learnt they cant run the continental petro-state on that alone.

Its becoming a new game.... which is running ahead of, as well as parallel to the grand debate of the big picture of energy use that you are arguing has to have pride of place. I agree that public education and political play around the ultimate energy solutions must get better. But the necessary pride of place it supposedly must have.... don't think so.

Its not so simple as what is the chicken and what is the egg.

Winston

Stockholm wrote:

Why not airlift bitumen. If they could fly supplies into West Berlin by air - why not avoid a pipeline and transporting bitument by rail and instead have sqaudrons of cargo planes flying the stuff from Fort Mac - non-stop to Shanghai!

This comment is surely sarcastic.

If not, I suggest you study the basic principles of air transport.

Stockholm

It was a joke

Unionist

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/01/10/canadian_left_split_over_a... Left split over Alberta oilsands: Walkom[/url]

Quote:
Some, like left-nationalist guru Mel Watkins say the tarsands should be shut right down. The NDP disagrees.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

I Believe BC Should Decide

NEW: Kinder Morgan filed its proposal with the National Energy Board (NEB) on December 16, 2013. The NEB told Kinder Morgan in this letter dated December 31 that the public will be able to apply to participate in hearings between January 15 and February 12, 2014.

Please contact my office for assistance submitting an application to participate: 604-291-8863

I’m Kennedy Stewart, Member of Parliament for Burnaby-Douglas. Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) will soon decide whether to allow a massive new crude oil pipeline to be built from Alberta’s Tar-Sands to Metro Vancouver.

I think British Columbians should decide if the proposed new Kinder Morgan Pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby is good for our communities, not big, foreign-owned energy companies or Ottawa politicians.

This website will help you to understand and participate in the decision-making process. As a first step, I urge you to register so I can let you know about ways you can get involved.

Thanks for visiting this website and please share it with your friends.

KSsignature-bw

Kennedy Stewart

http://letbcdecide.ca/2013/10/16/post-5/

.............

72 per cent of Burnaby-Douglas opposes Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

A survey commissioned by Burnaby-Douglas New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart shows 72 per cent of households in his constituency oppose a proposal to twin Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline.

The company has stated that until Jan. 19, it is putting a call out for secure and binding contracts from customers, both domestic and foreign oil companies, for the additional capacity....

http://www.burnabynewsleader.com/news/137683728.html

NorthReport

Energy is the NDP's Achilles heel but not for the reasons the original author suggested.

It is also the issu,e used constructively, that could launch  the NDP from beingCanada's Official Opposition to forming the Canadian gGvernment next year, because rigfht now Harper and Trudeau's energy policies are dumber thasn a sdack of nails.

Every Norwegian's a Millionaire, Why's Alberta in Hock?

Norway cut a proper deal with oil corporations. Canadians got screwed.

eeling poor? A recent news itemshowed that Norway's massive pot of petroleum money, now totaling CA$909.364 billion, has made every citizen a millionaire in Norwegian kroner. That works out to about $178,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. By contrast, every Canadian lumbers under an individual debt of $17,000 as Ottawa is in hock to the tune of $600 billion.

Not only is Norway ahead of Canada by $1.5 trillion, it has fully funded social programs that Canadians can only dream of.* Norwegians enjoy universal day care, free university tuition, per capita spending on health care 30 per cent higher than Canada and 25 days of paid vacation every year. By owning 70 per cent of their own oil production and taxing oil revenues at close to 80 per cent, Norway is now saving about $1 billion per week.

The so-called "Calgary School" of economic thought would say this stunning socialist success story is impossible in the same way that scientists used to believe that bumblebeescannot fly. Out in the real world, Canada is being trounced on the field of comparative fiscal management.

Last year, the Fort McMurray School District voted on a proposal to shorten the school week to four days. Why? Because the communities that include some of the largest petroleum reserves on the planet couldn't afford school bus drivers five days a week. The motion was voted down not because this situation is insanely stupid, but because trustees worried that tar sands workers couldn't access daycare during a shortened school week.

Misguided true believers

Alberta has run consecutive budget deficits since 2008 and since then has burned through $15 billion of its sustainability fund. In spite of Alberta's vast petroleum wealth, the province has not contributed a penny to the now moribund Alberta Heritage Fund since 1987. The belief that all tax is bad has led Canada's three western provinces to the bizarre position where they proudly collect less resource revenues on behalf of their citizens than any other jurisdiction in North America.

 

http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/01/15/If-Every-Norwegians-a-Millionaire-W...

DLivings

I must say that I couldn't read all of the posts here...  too repetitive.  In particular, NR, louder and longer doesn't make a point.  It just makes the same point over and over again (which doesn't make it right.)

It's time to replace Harper's Triple-E (Senate) with Mulcair's Triple-E (Development) - Sustainability economically, environmentally and socially (okay - that's only 2 E's and an S.)

We can go back almost a century and a half to the seeds of Prime Minister John A MacDonald's National Policy...  to transform Canada from simply being the "hewers of wood and drawers of water" for the huge economy to the south.  As you probably know, MacDonald's 3 part policy was to  develop an agricultural industry in the west, an industrial economy in the east, and a railroad to connect east and west together.  This was the basis for developing an economy somewhat independent of the north-south trading lines that existed then (and still create a pull today.)  And many thought it ludicrous.  In fact this policy took 40 years to develop and the infrastructure of that economy still exists today.  

So what's so ludicrous about visioning for the future... continuing the east-west, keep processing jobs in the country (more jobs!), developing resources in a responsible way which creates jobs today to preserve the economy/environment/jobs for Canadians for tomorrow.  

Paying a welder a half million dollars a year is nice for the welder, but the number of long-term jobs is small and this still relies on a trickle down model with lots of low-paid jobs and devastating local economies like Fort McMurray and surroundings.  And it perpetuates the "hewers of wood and drawers of water" that MacDonald's policy ran counter to.

Do you have children?  Not only do I want jobs for them, but also to have a world to live in that is not poisoned one.

It's true that we don't simply lament the impacts of global warming, we need to adapt. And global warming is only one of the impacts that results from poisoning the world that we live in.  Simply developing at any cost is not a healthy recipe for the future.

 

As for the BC election...  apparent assumptions by the BC NDP that their election could be taken for granted resulted in a lack of readiness to battle strategically for the hearts and minds of BC voters.  At the end of the campaign, impulsive actions that didn't adequately consider the impact of those actions, was part of the downfall.  It really happened much earlier and that was in the non-engagement, inactive nature of the ndp campaign.  Clark battled for the hearts and minds, the ndp just assumed that people would see beyond the platitudes...   a fatal error!

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

NDP leader Tom Mulcair talks tarsands, treaties on Nation to Nation with Nigel Newlove

(at 10:40 of video)

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And NDP leader Tom Mulcair reveals his thoughts and policies on Aboriginal issues.

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