Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline

Opportunity or disaster.  Which will it be?
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"Over my dead body"

Last week, in anticipation of the federal government's decision on the controversial Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, scientist Dr. Andrew S. Wright reflected on the immense promise of the oil sands/tar sands and the lost opportunity to develop the resource in a responsible, environmentally and socially conscious manner. 

"Envision a responsible oil sands development discourse," Wright begins. In my "In my mind the basic tenets would be:
  •  Treat all engaged citizens with respect.
  •  Governmental trust and transparency.
  •  Hold companies to account with rigorous environmental conditions and    equitable tax royalties.
  •  Utilize royalties to transition to a renewable energy-based economy with the balance of reserves used judiciously for critical transportation, product, fertilizer and medicine production into the deep future.
Then perhaps we can have a very different Canadian conversation, a conversation filled with promise. But we seem fixated upon rapid liquidation of the asset at the expense of all other options. Naturally, concerned citizens and First Nations have raised their voices and are prepared to take a stand. The net result is a moribund economy caught in the oil sands’ curse. This is a failure, because in an era of climate change, we could have taken a leadership position in which oil sands’ resources would have been developed in a manner complimentary to a low-carbon growth economy."

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