Sunday, February 12, 2012

Catching out Enbridge

My friends and colleagues over at Tidal Station have taken the time to chop into the "marine plan" issued by Enbridge for their northern gateway pipeline transfer terminal at Kitimat.

While most mariners would understand exactly what's being said, the point that is being made is that Enbridge, which produced the plan as though it highlighted an embracing of a new standard of tanker safety is actually only planning to meet the standard.

There are indications that the "improvements" to the north coast land-based radar system, (which does not exist at all right now), are nowhere near a stage of planning which would have it in place by the time Enbridge wants to start shipping liquefied tar. In fact they haven't even figured out who's going to pay for it.

Enbridge cheerleader, Harper, gets a warning too.
If Stephen Harper is such a proponent of the Northern Gateway project and demanding it be built, despite any objections, he'd better be prepared to put his money on the table. The entire central and northern BC vessel traffic management system is need of attention now. If the upcoming federal budget fails to address the requirement to increase vessel safety on a huge scale it is a demonstration that the Harper government is not terribly serious about the Enbridge proposal or it is ignorant of the inherent risks or it just doesn't care.
Really, read the whole thing


RossK said...

I was flummoxed.

This is an issue that is of vital importance to all British Columbians.

And yet...

The post in question from Tidal Station is at least 10,000 times more comprehensive, not to mention a million times more insightful, than anything I have seen, read, or heard anywhere in the proMedia.

And it is also readable and completely understandable, even for a landlubber like myself.

Thus, the 'public won't understand it if we tell the entire really complex story' defense just won't wash.


Steve said...

Did you know that tar sands oil is sold to the USA for $30 under world prices? Then we buy it back in the East for full price plus. Why will no political party scream bloody murder. Did the NEP backlash sting so bad. Screw Alberta, Canada should not be ripped off so 1% of Alberta can get richer and richer.

The Mound of Sound said...

Enbridge is going to cut every corner possible on the Northern Gateway. They'll also be squeezing every subsidy out of Alberta and Ottawa they can.

It would be one thing if this bitumen was some sort of gold mine but it's not. As discussed in "The Tyee" on Feb 6, Tar Sands bitumen has an EROI, energy return on investment, of just 2.4 to one. That means it requires on barrel of oil worth of energy to produce and transport barely 2.4 barrels of bitumen. And that, of course, is only the energy costs. It doesn't account for any of the environmental, economic or resource costs also associated with Tar Sands production. Once you cost out those factors, bitumen is marginal at best, a loser at worst. Studies have shown that the weaker the EROI ratio, the greater the role of government subsidies to keep the venture afloat. In the Texas oilfields of the 30s, companies were running an EROI ratio of 100 to one. Athabasca is a paltry 2.4 to one.

This is a giant, goddamned scam and ordinary Canadians are going to be stuck with the tab. Harper is completely betraying our country. Fiendish swine.