Diane Francis: Why it’s time to resurrect Energy East
Would help us deal with loss of Keystone XL and provide added benefit of displacing imported oil from Saudi Arabia
«The revoking of Keystone XL’s permit by U. President Joe Biden his first day in office highlights the risk for Canada of depending on a single country for its petroleum product exports,» wrote Miguel Ouellette in his report. «This economic note points out that the construction of new pipelines on Canadian soil would help the country reduce this risk and maximize revenues from oil exports, thus encouraging job creation and improving Canadians’ living standards». Its paper, titled «Canada Must Reconsider Its Pipeline Strategy,» is a breath of fresh air in a national conversation that has been mired since 2015 in prime ministerial incompetence, ethical breaches, vaccine shortages, environmental claptrap and anti-enterprise bias in Ottawa. The reality is that, whether the environmentalists like it or not, demand for oil will persist for decades to come and Canada’s oil and gas will be needed.
New export markets must be developed and pipelines must be built inside Canada to get our commodities to tidewater. The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and a liquid natural gas plant in British Columbia are already under construction for that purpose. «The point is not to call into question the relevance or the security of transporting fuel by train, ship or truck, but rather to highlight the benefits associated with pipelines and to show that new pipeline projects in no way compromise our safety or the protection of our natural environment,» Ouellette noted. And there’s little doubt that Canada must diversify its customer base for its most important exports.
« This is a golden opportunity for Canada, not only to increase the value of its exports, but also to change its risky, one-client strategy». Expansions of natural gas pipelines, and future projects to transport hydrogen, should also be undertaken, the report suggests. Of immediate concern, however, is the possibility that the Americans may block Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline through Michigan, which is of critical importance to Ontario. This is because, as it concludes, «All Canadian families benefit from a strong and financially stable energy sector, and we owe it to ourselves to maintain it».
Source: Diane Francis | Financial Post