Thursday, June 1, 2017

Julie Ali Just now · No plan B indeed. And plan A? It won't work.

No plan B indeed. And plan A? It won't work. I suggest that the Notley Crew begin the hard work of developing plan B. It might work in Alberta that cowed citizens suck up the environmental damage that the oil and gas industry has done but in BC there's a different philosophy and I doubt that anything other than calling in the military will force the pipelines through in BC. Ms. Notley needs to avoid that sort of showdown.
What's required is principled leadership and respect for landowners-something that the oil and gas industry is not noted for as evidenced by the Jessica Ernst and Diana Daunheimer cases. What usually happens in Alberta is that there might be pollution, the company pays off the citizens and we never get to hear of it. At least that was business as usual until a few citizens yapped and now we know.
And knowing this is the way it is in Alberta for the poor citizens with pollution problems, knowing that the AER is simply a media show for big oil and lets the industry dilly dally with reference to the 50 year old problem of tailings ponds, knowing that the GOA itself has provided immunity to the regulator from lawsuits --well of this indicates to me at least that the citizens of BC are right to not want this junk in their province.
I am also curious when we will get evidence that the $235 million "loan" to the orphan program will be paid back in the budget for the GOA. Will this "loan" be forgiven? I mean why not hey? It's only our money.

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B.C. has no exclusive claim on its coast, Alberta premier warns pipeline foes

'We have to be able to engage in international trade, and that's what we're doing'

By Wallis Snowdon, CBC News Posted: May 31, 2017 11:53 AM MT Last Updated: May 31, 2017 4:31 PM MT
Premier Rachel Notley: 'There is not really a Plan B. Once the decision is taken, the work will go forward.'
Premier Rachel Notley: 'There is not really a Plan B. Once the decision is taken, the work will go forward.' (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)







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Wallis Snowdon
Wallis Snowdon is a digital journalist with CBC Edmonton. She has nearly a decade of experience reporting behind her. Originally from New Brunswick, her journalism career has taken her from Nova Scotia to Fort McMurray. Share your stories with Wallis at

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British Columbia cannot lay solitary claim to western tidewaters and must allow landlocked Alberta to have access to the coast for export markets, says Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
"At the end of the day, we can't be a country that says one of its two functional coastlines is only going to do what the people who live right beside it want to do," Notley said in an interview Wednesday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.
"We have to be able to engage in international trade, and that's what we're doing."
British Columbia's New Democrats and Greens signed a four-year political manifesto Tuesday with a long list of ambitions to govern the province, including a plan to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.
The $7.4-billion project would triple the capacity of the line, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., providing Alberta critical access to international export routes.
NDP Leader John Horgan, who would become B.C. premier under the agreement with the Greens, said both parties have a responsibility to "defend" the coastline and stop the pipeline.
The line, which opponents say would increase tanker traffic seven-fold off the West Coast, has faced opposition from environmental and Indigenous groups who fear increased crude oil exports would threaten B.C's fragile coastal waters.
The province's new political alliance has only added to those tensions.
Even before the alliance was announced, both federal and provincial leaders sparred over the pipeline proposal with Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, who downplayed any future economic benefits to B.C.. He told reporters the prospect that thousands of promised pipeline jobs would materialize was as likely as "unicorns in all our backyards."

'There is not really a Plan B'

Despite the aggressive political posturing among her counterparts to the west, Notley remained adamant the pipeline will proceed.
The pipeline has been approved by the National Energy Board and no province, or newly formed political alliance, has the power to veto those decisions.
It's critical that Alberta oil be granted access to the B.C. coast, Notley reiterated on Wednesday.
Canada is made up of 10 provinces and three territories with a shared commitment to each other, Notley said.
"And that's why our Constitution sets out that the federal government has the ultimate responsibility for infrastructure projects," said Notley, who noted that her government has seen no need to draft any contingency plans for oilsands exports.
"There is not really a Plan B. Once the decision is taken, the work will go forward."

'Letter of the law behind her'

Though Notley's arguments are well-grounded in law, growing political tensions could still stymie progress on the expansion, warned Eric Adams, an associate professor of law at the University of Alberta.
Under the Constitution, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the power to declare the project a "general advantage of Canada," which would allow Ottawa to assume control.
But enacting those constitutional powers could trigger political outrage among provincial and municipal governments, which have wide-ranging jurisdictional powers, said Adams
"She's got the letter of the law behind her," Adams said of Notley's arguments about the pipeline's regulatory approval.
"But that doesn't mean that B.C. doesn't have its own jurisdiction to set its own conditions over environmental standards, over construction permits."
The B.C. government could still create many regulatory impediments to the pipeline, through the courts and the environmental permit process, said Adams.
"I think we're going to see a lot of tension and constitutional politics and maybe some litigation in the months and years [ahead] about where B.C. can set other kinds of conditions that makes life difficult for that pipeline. It's a complicated picture."
With files from Reuters

Julie Ali
  • Julie Ali
All the tough talk by Ms. Notley won't help in this issue. Best to negotiate so that everyone wins. Folks are concerned about the possibility of environmental disaster and ongoing pipeline spills---and in my opinion, these are valid concerns.

You only have to look at the fracking problems experienced by citizens in Alberta such as Jessica Ernst and Diana Daunheimer to know that citizens are impacted by big oil and are forced to sue the oil companies because the GOA does not work for citizens. These cases indicate to me at least that citizens in BC are correct to be concerned about pipelines and the impact of a spill on the land and ocean.

BC citizens are going to be living with the environmental disaster not the folks in Alberta. As well you only have to look at the legacy of big oil in Alberta with the permanent moonscape of the tailings ponds, the recent giveaway of public dollars in the form of a $235 million loan to the orphan well program and the ongoing failure to get the industry to do the timely remediation of the tailings ponds to understand that taxpayers will are stuck with the pollution and costs of any remediation (if this is at all possible). Polluter pay doesn't work for the oil and gas industry in Alberta.

The AER is the front office of big oil and does not represent the public interest in my opinion. For example, we did not find out about the two oil spills per day in Alberta from the energy regulator or the GOA. We found out from environmental groups. It's best that Ms. Notley take off her hard hat and negotiate intelligently with the folks in BC. The citizens of BC appear to be able to balance economic development with environmental protection.« less

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