Greenpeace protests oilsands pipeline


It sure was a hornet’s nest on the Hill yesterday, as approximately 500 protestors gathered in mutual disgust for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project.

100 or so protestors who ‘crossed the fence’ were even slapped with $65 trespassing fines.

The proposed 2,763 KM pipeline connecting Alberta’s oilsands and crossing 6-US States – although being met with controversy – is said to create some 20,000 jobs south of the border.

The NDP are, however, vehemently apposed to Keystone as Mark Dunn wrote in yesterday’s Ottawa SUN:

Supporters, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, say critics – including the opposition NDP – are exaggerating and fear mongering, and that oilsands development is an economic boom for Canada at a time the country is flirting with a second recession in three years.

The NDP argue the pipeline would create jobs in the U.S., and that Harper is misleading Canadians about the positive economic impact on Canada.

“The jobs aren’t for us. The oil isn’t for us. It’s for the U.S. It’s sort of selling to the U.S. so we can be their lapdog and get patted on the head every once and a while for doing a good job,” NDP environment critic Megan Leslie said.

The US State Department has yet to make a final ruling on Keystone XL, although it seems apparent the 7 Billion dollar project will be slated for approval come January.

OK let’s be honest, I have never been a big Greenpeace supporter but I do agree there may be a point of some concern here. The environmental impact of such a pipeline is huge and would take years to properly access, but really, will any of that matter in the big scheme of things?

There is an Economics term for such a dilemma referred to as ‘Opportunity Cost’ – it’s basically what one must give up in order to receive something else.

Keystone XL may turn out to be just the ticket our neighbours to the south need to get their economy back on track. As much as this project appears to benefit the US more than Canada, the symbiotic relationship we have with our floundering big brother requires drastic measures just like this.

It’s probably best that we don’t know the full environmental impact of Keystone XL, as I’m sure it will continue-on unabated whether we like it or not.

So what will the ‘Opportunity Cost’ be to our environment and natural resources?

We will probably never know, as the overall benefit to having more Canadian oil headed State-side may far outweigh any environmental impact this project would ever have.


22 thoughts on “Greenpeace protests oilsands pipeline”

  1. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much of the details of this proposal, but it certainly doesn’t look good for Canada.
    I don’t like it.
    Why can’t Canada invest in refineries and produce our own fuel? It seems like we are selling our oil to the US by the pipe-load, then buying it back as fuel with huge surcharges. Canada seems to be liquidating all of our resources to the US and abroad with wood, wheat, gold, diamonds, oil, etc. It would be nice to invest in our own resources, refineries, and keep those 20,000 jobs plus refineries here. Besides, the US seems to have no problems in promoting their “Buy American” policies. Why can’t we do the same?

  2. It’s interesting to see a co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, supporting the oilsands pipeline.
    He claims that the production sites are often left in better environmental shape after the oil has been taken.He did say “often”, not are. Thousands of new jobs are supposed to be created on both sides of the border.
    Still, all this oil going to 15 refineries in Texas, at 700,000 barrels a day seems too extreme. You have to wonder why they can’t reduce at least some of that export and instead invest at home, at cheaper costs to the consumer.

    Hey Jeff, my elk is back! I’m sure not telling you guys where I live!

  3. I’m kind of inclined to agree with most here, and even Greenpeace, however, Greenpeace is another one of those organizations that have burned their chances with me, they have been fanatical and grown tiresome. Therefore even when they do come up with something that I think I might agree with, I stand back and give some second thoughts to it. I just can’t bring myself to be on the same side as them on any issue. Just can’t do it

  4. I’m ususally on their side of the fence when I defend trapping as a 100% renewable resource and compare it to the carbon imprint that oil based products leave on our environment. However let’s be honest here folks, Oil is the blood in the veins of life on earth as we know it. I too am in favor that our Government should take steps to keep the stuff here and refine it here if it means job creation.

    As an alternative to an above ground pipeline however why can they not lay the pipe line in a covered concrete ditch. This would reduce the inconvenience that these pipelines create to our wildlife by allowing them to cross over with little effort. Not to mention the fact that the increased construction design would create even more jobs.

    Heck they cold even create some sort of natural looking cover for the man made pipe canal. They build cel phone towers that look like 100 year old majestic pine trees..

    1. Trapper, although I do like what you’re saying..I think the cost involved would be huge; putting an instant kybosh on any such effects to ‘pretty-up’ the inevitable..which is, a big ugly pipe running through many a back yard!

      In University I learned all about ‘Not In My Back Yard’ or the NIMBY is human nature for us to distance ourselves from something so ugly and intrusive as a giant pipe full of oil.

      The NIMBY syndrome comes into play with every environmental project…big or small.


  5. Keeping stuff here (i.e., added-value processing towards commercial product) requires huge capital investment.

    Canadian companies and our Stock Brokers prefer quick short returns on investment, and are not willing to take on projects that provide returns later. Therefore, they can’t sell interest in potential investors.

    Big huge foreign companies have the money and need the resources for their operations and are investing everywhere in the world to maintain their market shares (e.g., iron ore, etc).

    Do you want the Federal government to pay for all of it, helping Canadian companies make a profit. Canadian companies will sell the final product at international competitve prices to consumers, and the government will ask you for more income tax to pay back their investment (or lost in not recuperating their investment).

    We are an exporting country. Refineries would be great, but major oil companies see no profit in having over-supplies, which could make a detrement to price fixing.

    My 2 cents.

    1. So LeGrand, from an ‘Exporting stand-point’ this project is a good thing then? Well, I don’t think there’s any doubt it would strengthen US-Canadian relations.

      See, no one has even mentioned our(USA) reliance on the middle east and how Keystone would have a huge effect on that…


  6. As for the environmental aspect of things. They will always be risks. Our government just has to put in place measures that will ensure minimizing these, ensure proper monitoring, and impose severe cost (i.e., penalties)to operators to fix mistakes.

  7. LeGrand, those are good points as well. On the flip side, I suppose this pipeline could give Canada added muscle in other negotiations with the US such as the softwood lumber dispute, etc. I doubt we would ever go the route the Russians take by simply shutting off the vavle to countries in dispute (like they did with Poland a few years ago by shutting off natural gas supply in the dead of winter), but certainly it provides more cards in the deck.

  8. I got back on Sunday after a week of hunting. We had 3 good opportunities on bull moose but the luck wasn’t on our side. We hit one on Saturday morning with what seemed to be a well-placed shot. We tracked it for 4 hours (2-3 kms) in the thick bush until we lost the trail. I had a good sight of one about 80 yards out, just out of range. What an awesome experience though!

  9. Hey Carol! where DO you live? We can’t hunt elk so it’s ok. Well, we can hunt elk, but that season is just about over and it’s very specifically regulated ie. not a free for all 🙂

    My buddy photographed 2 bull elk fighting 2 weeks ago. Just amazing!

    As for the pipeline, I’m with everyone else – i don’t understand why we’re not keeping it here, making it here and keeping our prices down.

    Oh wait, now i remember – b/c gas is taxed and the govt makes a ton of coin off of us. It’s in their best interest to keep driving the costs up (no pun intended)! Doesn’t make sense for them to do something ‘right’ for the people! grrr…

  10. Jeff, you getting tired of this blog…..just sayin

    pack the trailers tomorrow night and up to the wild and wolley NW Ontario for a fly in moose hunt.

    1. Not at all Iggs, just been extremely busy..time of the year I suppose.

      I wish you the best of luck on your trip Iggs..I have already heard about one successful moose hunt…I have a feeling Sure-shot Dave will be on here shortly to brag about it!

      Have a good one..and THIS TIME..I PROMISE to post any pics you bring me…I’ll bring them to a pro photog to shrink if I have too..hehe

      Lets hope for antlers and lots of action!


  11. A buddy just got back from a Quebec hunt near La Verendre and they got skunked, didn’t enjoy the hunt he said and only saw sign on the last day. He’s not going back.

    1. Iggs, I’m sure the weather prob had something to do with it..and I’d be surprised if the rut was even on yet. There seems to be something about a couple of frosts to get those old bulls going.

      My father and some buddies are heading to a Pourvourie right beside La Verendre this weekend..and are hoping for some good luck.


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