Canada has to get a grip on the enviromental review process.
Environmentalists have for years been mounting a huge campaign against Alberta oil sands.
The Northern Gateway Pipeline and now the Kinder Morgan twinning of its Trans Mountain Pipeline are under unprecedented attack by big-money enviro-radicals.
Northern Gateway Pipeline's environmental review process has been infiltrated and clogged up by Big Money Eco-Bully manipulators intending to jam, filibuster and delay the process. Some 4,500 applicant interveners (many with fictitious names) from all over the world are demanding to be heard.
It's not possible to have more than a handful of legitimate, realistic environmental concerns over a pipeline issue, so the vast majority are frivolous.
The current review process condones this, and it sounds like we are holding wide-open hearings without any rules, which makes Canada look like a laughing stock of spineless wimps. It's like funding our own decline.
For example, the Dogwood Initiative, a Canadian non-profit (tax-exempt) organization out of Victoria, receives foreign funding from the big American Tides Foundation out of San Francisco, and engages in anti-oil sands interests. This enviro-activist group alone submitted more than 1,600 applicants' names to clog the review process.
The same Tides Foundation financed Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's election campaign, so no surprise that he is speaking out against shipping oil from the Port of Vancouver, the largest port in Canada.
Ditto for the Suzuki Foundation (tax exempt charity) which received more than $10 million in foreign grants and is on a mission against pipelines and all human progress or commerce of any kind.
B.C. Native Indian bands were given millions (bought-off via the cash pipeline) by U.S. foundations to hire lawyers to fight the pipeline. Coastal First Nations and the BC Union Of Indian Chiefs are like puppets being played by Big Money organized eco-manipulators rather than expressing legitimate environmental concerns.
In March 2010 the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency awarded $2.4 million to 20 B.C. First Nations groups and $440,000 to nine environmental non-government organizations to assist them in the pipeline review process. No surprise that all these groups oppose Northern Gateway.
William Walter Kay reports that the Coastal Opportunities Fund received $60 million from six foundations (Hewlett, Moore, Packard, Rockefeller Bros, Tides Canada, and Nature Conservancy). Those funds were matched by the B.C. and federal governments and placed into two endowments, one devoted to rallying a legion of aboriginal eco-activists and the other devoted to "sustainable economic diversification" in north coast aboriginal communities. This, under the guise of environmentalism, diverts another separate transfer of tax dollars to B.C. natives via our ministry of environment, rather than the federal Indian Act payments.
Hundreds of international environmental non-governmental organizations activists are involved in demonizing the oil sands campaign.
In order to maintain their tax-exempt charitable status, all American philanthropic foundations are required to annually disperse five per cent of total assets in grants to causes related to the foundations' charters.
Such funds give billions of dollars annually to environmental non-governmental organizations, activist interveners they use to do their dirty work.
A result of this activist mega-financing is that the oil industry and our governments (us) are forced to spend billions of dollars to counter the false propaganda, some 4,000 anti-oil sands articles planted in the mainstream media and more each day.
We have to understand that the oil or any other industry does not absorb these costs, as it becomes a cost of doing business and gets passed on to us taxpayers and consumers, which reflects as higher energy bills at the pump.
There are more than 100,000 km of existing main trunk pipelines in Canada. Pipelines are the safest, most efficient method of liquid transport, compared to railcar tanker transport of chemicals we live with every day.
Rail corridors tend to parallel more rivers and streams than pipelines do. We would not even need an environmental review to ship crude oil by rail tanker car to coastal ports, except new or expanded terminals development.
Approximately 300,000 barrels/day are being shipped via rail tanker cars from Alberta and the northern U.S. Bakken oil fields to the Gulf of Mexico, at a cost of about $3 a barrel more than it would cost through the new Keystone Pipeline which will handle about 750,000 barrels/day when built.
At $3 per barrel more, railcar transport is a viable option when oil is around $100 per barrel. Perhaps the eco-activists should be careful what they wish for, as all Northern Gateway would need is a rail-to-ship terminal at Prince Rupert.
Eastern Canada and the U.S.A. have been shipping oil and other chemicals through the Maritimes, Great Lakes, and St. Lawrence Seaway, through pristine environments for more than 100 years. Oil has been shipped through the Port of Vancouver for more than 50 years.
It is unreasonable to expect to prevent shipping of product to or from Canada's west coast, the gateway to the Pacific Rim, the largest market in the world.
Every day, worldwide, approximately 40 seaborne tanker ships transport 44 million barrels of oil to market.
The eco-activists get agitated over the low risk of a spill, but don't consider the reality of nature. There are many natural bitumen and tar surface ponds on land (La Brea in downtown Los Angeles), and the ocean floor seeps oil constantly.
At Santa Barbara, California, large quantities of oil leak naturally from the sea-floor, in spite of 23 oil rigs extracting oil (relieving pressure buildup) from the offshore basins, and bitumen tar balls continue to naturally form on the beaches.
This is why it's absolutely imperative that Canada re-structure and get a grip on the environmental review process.
We taxpayers need to stop rewarding opposition groups who use Canada's generous laws to operate Big-Money enviro-activism against Canadian economic interests.
I hope Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ministers can correct this mess and get it done. Canada is being held out as the last bastion of hope in the western world to fend off Big Money eco-bully radicalism.
Roland Seguin, Langley
@ Copyright 2013