There are people who consider Toronto Star editorials as gospel. Their numbers will be decreasing if the editorial writers do not pull up their socks and do a little more research before pontificating. The editorial (Nov. 13, 2011) on the delay of Trans Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline is a good example of the lack of research.
The headline was that the pipeline delay was a shabby rebuff from a friend. They could have started with a little better understanding that ‘the friend,’ by the name of Barack Obama, is fighting for his political life and Trans Canada Pipelines is not even in his vocabulary. What President Obama saw was a concerted effort by major environmental groups to derail a plan for a pipeline to get Alberta oil-sands crude toTexas Gulf coast refineries. Those environmentalists are Obama’s supporters and he needs them to help keep his job in the 2012 elections.
The Star editorial writer just sees this as another rebuff from Obama after the ‘Buy America’ provisions of his $447 billion American Jobs Act.
Has the Star writer even considered that Canadians might not want to ship their expensive, polluting crude from oil sands to American refineries? Maybe Canadians think that there should be enough refinery capacity in Canada to handle what crude we have to produce from oil sands. That would at least keep some of those refinery jobs in Canada, if not the profit from doing the refining in Canada.
The Star writer thinks it is just rotten, crass American politics that Trans Canada Pipelines is not being allowed to go ahead with the creation of 20,000 jobs (mainly in the United States of America) to build its pipeline.
What that writer should read is the posting in Bloomberg News about Mr. Obama’s decision. Bloomberg, in case the writer does not know it, is a well respected business news network that pays attention to matters such as U.S.-based pipelines and new construction plans. Bloomberg says that Trans Canada’s loss is probably Enbridge’s gain. Enbridge is a Calgary based energy company that runs pipelines from Alberta down through Illinois. Enbridge would like to compete for the contract to ship the oil-sands crude through Illinois and, from there, down to the Texas Gulf coast. Bloomberg’s conclusion is that Trans Canada’s loss is Enbridge’s gain.
It seems Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is also unaware of the Enbridge plan. When he heard about Obama’s delay of the Trans Canada proposal, he suggested a pipeline to the West Coast so we could ship all that crude to China. Flaherty must also be an environmentalist. It seems nobody wants to refine Canadian crude in Canada. The Toronto Star writer never thought of it.
Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry
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