Partly Cloudy Full Forecast

Alberta Would Sweeten The Pie To Get Enbridge Through

By Ben Meisner

Monday, March 19, 2012 03:45 AM

We are suddenly  hearing whispers with content that the Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford, is now suggesting  the province of BC should maybe get a bit more of the action of the 40 million dollars of crude oil flowing through the proposed pipe line to Kitimat.
BC’s neighbour  is suddenly realizing that British Columbia is putting up with 100% of the risk and in line fore very little of the return that the venture will bring Enbridge and its Chinese interests.
Even Danielle Smith, head of the upstart Wild Rose party of Alberta, sees the need to sweeten the pot if the venture has any hope of survival.
That being said, the Joint Review Panel is quickly discovering that the terrain the line proposes to pass through is not the same as the prairies or for that matter the routes that now head south into the USA. The topography is very, very different and if Prime Minister Harper hopes to badger the balance of Canada into believing that the opposition is being driven by a few "eco freaks" , that pitch will not last the test of time.
17% of Canada’s Aboriginal population resides in BC. They have a powerful voice, much stronger by the fact that few of the land claims have been  settled in the  areas through which the pipeline proposes to pass.
Enbridge may be telling the public that they have support from the majority of those First Nations, that is simply not true, and even by suggesting that was the case the sentiment grows stronger against the proposal.
While Alberta and Prime Minister Stephen Harper represent the federal interests or think that by sweetening the pie just a bit BC will come on side , they have so far ignored the feelings of not just those eco freaks but the majority of BC residents.
Sitting quietly on the sidelines BC Premier, Christy Clark, knows that to push the project through at this time would mean political suicide.  Sitting in the wings, the NDP under Adrein Dix have already stated the project will not go ahead under their watch.
If the plan is to put more money on the table in order to  get  B.C. to  "buy in" it is unlikely  there  would be any amount  that could make this proposal sweet enough to sway the  residents of this province.
I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s’ opinion.

Previous Story - Next Story

Return to Home


This issue could very well be a test for our democracy... and our sovereignty.

IMO its a litmus test already for politicians of all strips. Most have failed because they think of it in terms of a negotiation, or waiting for the outcome of the Joint review Panel. They don't get it from a risk standpoint, nor a national energy plan standpoint.

The ndp will get a lot of mileage out of their opposition to gateway... it could very well propel them to form government both provincially and nationally.

The politicians standing on the fence won't get consideration for the benefit of the doubt IMO.
"...BC should maybe get a bit more of the action of the 40 million dollars of crude oil flowing through the proposed pipe line to Kitimat."

That's probably the amount that would flow through the pipeline every day when crude was about 80 bucks a barrel. Today crude is about $ 107/barrel.

In any case - it's about 500,000 barrels daily according to previous announcements!
"Sitting quietly on the sidelines BC Premier, Christy Clark, knows that to push the project through at this time would mean political suicide. Sitting in the wings, the NDP under Adrein Dix have already stated the project will not go ahead under their watch."

This is all very nice to say and makes great political theatre, but this decision rests with the feds, not the provincial government.
Lets see..what would sweeten the pot enough? Maybe if it was refined in alberta and the finished product piped across our province and then shipped to china and abroad, as long as BC gets first crack at the finished product and can buy our gas at about 10 cents/litre, that might be enough to presuade a few in BC, but those pesky aboriginals probably don't care about cheap I guess there is nothing that can really "sweeten" the pot.
"but this decision rests with the feds, not the provincial government" .. and you really think that if the feds try to push this through with clear oppositiion from the citizens of BC AND the gov't of the day that it will go ahead? Only if democracy and the right to protect our land here in BC is ignored. And then you will see the shit hit the fan.
BC is not a sovereign nation. It is part of this country called Canada, as much as some would like to forget that.
No matter how much sugar they put in the pie it's still a pie of crap.

Don't fall for JohnnyBelts trolls.
"Using data from Enbridge's own reports, the Polaris Institute calculated that 804 spills occurred on Enbridge pipelines between 1999 and 2010. These spills released approximately 168,645 barrels (26,812.4 m3) of hydrocarbons into the environment."

"In Enbridge's promotional materials, Enbridge proactively admits that spills will happen and provides information on how to "manage" them."

Do a little YouTube Search on Enbridge spills and see first hand how they "manage" spills.

Nice artical on Albertans on the CBC this AM. Fits well intom the Harper way of doung things.
Are we name-calling already? Anyone who might have a different opinion is labelled a troll. Nice.
So are you saying that BC should have no say in what happens in this province, johnnyBelt? Why have provinces if what we say here in BC and what we wish here in BC means nothing? We may just as well be one great big province called Ottawa then, right?
Obviously BC needs a say, but we also need to remember that the good of the Country is now more than ever the ability to squeeze value out of the oil industry.

The problem is that after the Natives get their piece there probably wont be enough left for regular British Columbians.

But $5 a barrel is a good starting point for through way. 3/4 of a billion per year for the right of way. That doesnt mean that spills arent the fault of Enbridge with the backing of the Feds.

But really why not just build it the other way to the east coast? The right of ways are already there with the Enbridge mainline running to Sarnia and then on to Montreal and QC. One problem is that line does run through Northern States.
If Mr. Harper does try to punch the Enbridge pipeline through B.C. I believe he will find that there are many of us who will gladly become the stuff that hits the fan and we will do it with Cristy or not. Mr. Harper you may build a number of new jails accross the country but the amount of jails that you will need will be far more costly than the money you can get from Enbridge.
NoWay so its your way or no way related to your troll comment. Well I guess we know you support the fibs as its only their way in raping the province and I guess you must be happy with that.
But: "So are you saying that BC should have no say in what happens in this province, johnnyBelt?"

Not at all. But as far as the Enbridge pipeline goes, my previous comment stands.
"The problem is that after the Natives get their piece there probably wont be enough left for regular British Columbians."

And you can say that with a straight face after you see what the blue eyed sheiks take out of this? LOL ....
Free Gas for 999 years for all B.C. residents, and you got my vote.
Where have I heard that one before?
Canada needs the Petro-dollars.

Between low taxes and the baby boomers retiring, something has to pay for the medical service and pensions. I'm sure the retired folk don't want to live in poverty.

May it be this project or another, the oil needs to get to the world market, not just the US market if we want top dollar.

I'm not saying the environment should suffer, but a delicate balance needs to be done.

remember there is a storm now sitting on the horizon...
Good article Ben's too little, too late I'm afraid for Alberta, the feds et al to try to anty up more dollars to BC...FNs or not. Money may talk in many projects, but at this juncher for BC FNs it won't change their minds because of how consultations have gone(more like, lack there of). Meaningful consultation has not, will not happen now or down the road because the amount of disrespect shown towards BC FNs has been loud and clear. They were not part of the first planning stages, nor were BC FNs asked to take part in financing partnerships...anything...just another afterthought thru the whole process. For Enbridge and the fed gov't to try now is insulting. Enbridge et al had to have known about the countrywide, precedent setting Delagamuukw courtcase, where it spells out consultation and accomodation, which involves the Gitxsan FN. How ironic is that? The ownership agreement between the Gitxsan and Enbridge is now cancelled BTW...the opposing FNs to this Enbridge Noerthern Gateway project will make certain it will be tied up in the court system for years to come...might as well look at plans now to refine the oil back east and use it for our domestic use. That will help mitigate the "Dutch Disease" that is crippling manufacturing jobs in Ontario and Quebec...we are losing more CDN dollars in exporting oil than what manufacturing goods can/are bring(ing) in...look it up...
Seamutt, I'm not sure how calling JohnnyBelts posts trolls classes me as supporting the fibs.

I do not support the pipeline and have Enbridges past records of spills and how they were handled as reasons why I don't.

For JohnnyBelt to state that the Feds are going to be the ones that makes the descision on this pipeline is nothing but a troll.
The joint review process is Federal. The pipeline would be Federally regulated (NEB) if/when constructed and operated.

Can you state your case without labelling and name calling? Probably not.
Johnnybelt is a buffoon, he`s a good little toady, just like the one`s who believed Hitler.

Until Canada eliminates the 780,000 barrels of oil it imports from "unethical" sources Enbridge won`t happen.

Harper has alreadt fallen in to small minority numbers, Harper is down 16% percentage points in BC since May.
Just another typical post from criminalmind. Long on insults, short on substance.
O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Just thought I'd remind people what they are going to sing to on July 1st 2012.
Just a reminder;
What will be flowing through the Gateway Pipeline is not crude oil, it will be a concoction known as Dil-Bit ( Diluted Bitumen ) The "oil" gleaned from the tar sands is too heavy to pump through a pipeline, they must dilute it first. The cheapest way to do this is with condensate.
The condensate will be loaded at a port in the North of Australia, and shipped all the way to Kitimat, and pumped to Fort McMurray for mixing with tar sands oil. The biggest insult to our natural environment will come when there is a leak or spill of this dil-bit into natural waterways. Because even in it's diluted form this 'oil' is much heavier than most or any crude oils, it does not float, rather, it sinks. How do you clean up oil that clings to the bottom in a creek, river, or inlet? How far downstream will it flow in a current? Forget about enjoying crab and Halibut from the DOuglas Channel after there is a spill from a supertanker. Remember the mess that the Exxon Valdez left in Prince William Sound? That oil floated on the surface, for the most part. Now imagine a spill that not only coats the bottom, but also the shoreline, and animals unlucky enough to be in the water at the time.
Google "Marshall Michigan oil spill" to get some information on how difficult it is to remove dil-bit from a waterway.
It does not matter how much money Enbridge says it will invest in remediation equipment "in case of a spill or leak", once that $#@! hits the water its game over.
There are many indications that DilBit is significantly more corrosive to pipeline systems than conventional crude.
Bitumen blends are highly acidic, sulfuric, viscous and abrasive.
The Alberta hazardous liquid pipeline system has a relatively high rate of pipeline failure posing an early indication of the risks DilBit poses to pipeline integrity. The U.S. Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) does not distinguish between conventional crude
and DilBit when setting minimum standards for hazardous liquid pipelines.
DilBit poses an elevated risk to public safety not only due to higher risks of a spill or rupture, but also
because DilBit spills pose increased hazards to the environment and public safety. The natural gas liquid
component of DilBit increases the risk of conflagration and the clean-up of a spill presents greater
challenges than a conventional oil spill. In addition, tar sands related Material Safety Data Sheets list
hydrogen sulfide as a potential hazard associated with a DilBit release and as one of several toxic
products of a DilBit conflagration. During the Enbridge Kalamazoo DilBit spill, the company identified
hydrogen sulfide as a risk for its field personnel.
The State Department, as the agency responsible for assessing the environmental impacts of the
transboundary Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, has not considered the unique risks DilBit poses to public
safety in its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) The Keystone XL pipeline is intended to
carry up to 900,000 bdp of petroleum product through the heartland of the United States.
TransCanada bases its temperature effects study on the assumption that 80 percent of that product will
be DilBit.
JohnnyBelt did you know that Canada is a 'federal' state... meaning that we have a clearly defined constitutional roles between provincial and federal governments? Its true look it up.

In 1931, the Imperial Conference adopted the Balfour Declaration, which formed the basis of the Statute of Westminster, adopted in 1931 - one of the most important pieces of legislation in Canadian constitutional history:
It made Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland and Ireland 'fully independent dominions equal in status to but closely associated with the mother country' as part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. (CWV).

The Belfour Declaration was influenced heavily by a BC Premier Richard McBride who spend many years while in power lobbying in London for provincial rights to natural resources. Richard McBride and Churchill were close chums and McBride agreed to build submarines in BC for the Russians without the consent of the federal government... Churchill in turn lobbied on behalf of McBride's cause for provincial sovereignty over natural resources.


Imperial Conference of 1926 passed what has usually been called the Balfour, Declaration that

"They (that is the various British Dominions) are autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or internal affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth."

The Imperial Statute of Westminster in 1931 gave legislative effect to this Declaration, by providing that the Colonial Laws Validity Act should not apply to any law made after the Statute of Westminster by the Parliament of a Dominion; that the Parliament of a Dominion shall have full powers to make laws having extraterritorial operation, that is to say, having effect beyond the boundaries of the Dominion itself; and that no Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the Statute of Westminster should extend to a Dominion as part of the law of that Dominion unless the Dominion has requested and consented to the enactment thereof.


The British North American Act clearly defines provincial sovereignty over natural resources and the Belfour Declaration has been recognized in the courts of Canada as well as Great Britain upholding provincial sovereignty over natural resources. Its why Alberta is considering a better deal with BC and not Ottawa. Ottawa can only approve of a pipeline but not force a pipeline. Harper government does not have constitutional authority to change the constitutional rights of the province.

BC has many ways it can stop Gateway if it so chooses and there is nothing Harper could do to stop it.
This issue, if pressed by Ottawa, against the wishes of the people of BC and IF our provincial govt actually takes a stand against it, could very well be the beginning of the end of BCs' confederation in Canada. I can remember back in the 80s when the premier of BC and the govenors or Washington State, Oregon State, The Yukon and Alaska were mulling over the possibility of creating thier own sovereign country. What a hoot that would be.
Is there anyone besides me who has noticed that the only people, who say running tanker traffic through the Douglas Channel, either have never travel through it, or most likely will never travel through it?

Why are the very people who espouse their expertise on the subject most prairie chickens who actually have a fear of water?

Why are some Canadians so extremely hypocritical when they claim this should be a Canadian issue and decided by Canadians, yet with the same breath condemn the idea that only those who will be affected by the pipeline should be allowed to decide its fate?

Why are there no citizens from British Columbia on the NEB Panel, yet there are two from Alberta?

Why are we even having the hearings if Harper is already concluding it is a done deal?
I would like to thank Mr. Meisner for asking the question directly to Adrian Dix on his talk show this morning.

He certainly came down a long way from 'not on my watch' to acknowledging that the pipeline is undergoing a federal review process and BC is a stakeholder in the process but cannot by itself stop the pipeline should it be approved.

Thanks again to Ben and even to Adrian Dix for not trying to grandstand the issue and answering the question fairly.
"back in the 80s when the premier of BC and the govenors or Washington State, Oregon State, The Yukon and Alaska were mulling over the possibility of creating thier own sovereign country."

Cascadia ... there are still vestiges of it on the internet. Think it lost a lot of its drive as a result of the aftermath of 9/11 which resulted in tighter borders and the establishment of homeland security.

I think the notion of an economic region that includes those entities is still quite valid and is the type of thing that do not get lost over time. They are partially culturally based connections.

A one year old article of a spill of the diluted bitumen that metalman wrote about.

Interesting to read that the product was refined in Canada but there is no more capacity to do so. Thus it gets shipped to Toledo via pipeline.

Just read the article gus posted a link to. Some of the same content as is in the info I posted, plus one thing I did not realize; that the natural gas contained in the condensate can actually separate and become gaseous rather than liquid, making it difficault for pressure sensors to detect: Is it a leak? Or is it 'just gas?
And, with a reminder of the corrosive nature of dil-bit:
Why would anyone in their right mind build a pipeline of conventional materials to transport an unconventional product? Knowing that there WILL be leaks, and that it is just a matter of time. Millions of gallons of corrosive and abrasive liquid flowing through a steel pipe will find the weak sections, where the steel is 'just' within tolerance for thickness, or joints that are 0.5% less than perfectly welded, or the heel (outside) of bends ( I mean directional changes) in the pipeline, where the product is covering 100% of that side (fluid dynamics) in it's inexorable rush to the sea and thence into the tanks of the Chinese nation, these areas of the pipeline will fail first. I sure hope that better leak detection methods than are available now are developed and implemented before this pipeline is commissioned.