Phillip Blancher is a writer, web geek and communications professional by trade. He has written for a number of publications in Eastern Ontario and Northern New York State and also was a weekly morning show contributor for two area radio stations. As a resident of South Dundas for the last seven years, this long-time political buff has taken on an appreciation of small-town/rural life while also being a father of four and a soccer coach. Blancher's columns on OurHometown.ca will cover a range of his interests from politics, parenthood, local history and on his favourite NHL team, the Buffalo Sabres. If you have questions or wish to contact Phillip, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Forget Keystone, forget China, think Canada
The uproar after the US Government's rejection of the Keystone Pipeline project in January was predictable. Prime Minister Harper's suggestion that if the Americans did not want Canadian oil, others like China would, is the safe approach to take. To sell the oil to the Chinese or even Indian markets is easy and would provide quick returns on the investment in a short pipeline from the Alberta Oil Sands to the West Coast.
South Dundas - February 25, 2012 - The uproar after the US Government's rejection of the Keystone Pipeline project in January was predictable. Prime Minister Harper's suggestion that if the Americans did not want Canadian oil, others like China would, is the safe approach to take. To sell the oil to the Chinese or even Indian markets is easy and would provide quick returns on the investment in a short pipeline from the Alberta Oil Sands to the West Coast. Easy, but is it the right thing to do.
Quebec. Atlantic Canada and most of Central and Eastern Ontario import oil from the United Kingdom and Norway, both western democracies which share many of the values we Canadians hold dear. Oil is also imported from the Middle East and Nigeria; oppressive, dictatorial regimes which do not share any of the values on human rights, rule of law or freedom like we do.
Why do we import oil in one half of the country, while we export far more than we can use in the other half? Simply put, a lack of infrastructure. We need more/better pipelines from West to East, and we need increased refining capacity in the east to take that liquid gold from the west and be able to use it in our cars in the east.
Billions of dollars are being spent importing oil and refined gasoline to the east. That is a massive transfer of wealth from Canada to foreign dictatorships like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or Nigeria. Why? Why are we funding these despots when we could do the job ourselves?
There is nothing wrong with being self-reliant. As an energy rich country, there is no reason why Canada cannot be self-reliant. Wither you look at oil and gas from Alberta to hydro-electric in Northern Ontario and Quebec. We have the ability to produce massive amounts of energy, so that we don't have to import from others. Canada would still have enough left over to export to friendly countries like the United States.
Allison Redford, Premier of Alberta, stated in January that it was time that we all have a frank discussion on energy policies in Canada. Not a new divisive program like Trudeau's National Energy Program, but a plan that enables Canada to be energy independent. Where all parts of the country are run by Canadian generated power, fuelled by Canadian refined, Canadian produced oil.
Such a policy would have long-term and lasting effects across the country. From shorter term construction jobs creating new refineries and pipelines, to lasting jobs running those facilities and in research and development on everything from pollution control to new methods of delivery.
Exporting to Alberta Oil Sands to China and India is the quickest way to make a buck, without a doubt. But the lack of energy self-reliance in Canada will cost us all in the long term.
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