Wake up and smell the smoke – pipeline benefits are dubious

To the Editor:

Not all Albertans are in favour of the Trans Mountain Expansion project and the extreme oil, gas, and bitumen production this would cause here. We who see the increasing damages to Alberta’s environment and our health were very concerned when ex-PM Harper destroyed Canada’s environmental regulatory process to try and push pipelines back in 2012. It turns out the regulatory failure of the TM Expansion project can be blamed more on Harpers’ efforts than on our current government.

I would be more likely to believe all the talk about ‘jobs jobs jobs’ if the oil and gas industry didn’t cancel their remediation projects as soon as the downturn started in 2015. We thought they had ‘deep pockets’ and were ‘in it for the long run’ but now they have reduced the number of workers on rigs by 75 per cent! Also, they are working toward driverless trucks in the bitumen mines. The TM expansion would provide thousands of pipeline jobs for a few months, but only 60 jobs long-term, so that jobs argument just doesn’t fly with me.

If we were “doing everything right” in Alberta, we wouldn’t have confirmed rare cancers up north, we wouldn’t have a NAFTA challenge about the terrible way Alberta has managed our three trillion litres (and growing) of toxic tailing ponds, and we wouldn’t have a UNESCO investigation of the terrible effects of our industries on Wood Buffalo National Park, an international heritage site. Canadians now own a profitable pipeline, but there are many important reasons not to expand. Not making a single concession to include any of the good ideas brought forward by First Nations, the Southern Resident Orcas are nearly extinct, and will be with a 6,000 per cent increase in tanker traffic, and climate change.

Why are we burning our important bitumen resources as quickly as possible, bringing on more fire, floods and extreme weather? Why are we not even upgrading in Canada but trying to ship a dangerous, inferior and half-price product no one but the US can process? Wake up and smell the smoke.

Jule Asterisk
Slave Lake, AB

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