Sunday, January 22, 2012

'Stunningly stupid' or just plain stupid?

Good Day Readers:

Are these the critical questions:

(1) To the extent possible have all environmental and ecological concerns associated with the Northern Gateway Pipeline been adequately addressed?

(2) Will continuous maintenance and monitoring systems be in place to prevent spills before they occur or at least immediately identify them?

(3) Are Enbridge's emergency response plans and resources adequate should there be an accident?

No revenue estimates (royalty payments) have yet been made available of the dollar amounts that will accrue to Alberta, British Columbia and the federal government. Is it not disingenuous on the part of those who oppose the pipeline simultaneously calling for better, improved social safety net programs? From where will the money come?

Clare L. Pieuk

Newt gives Prime Minister a nod in victory speech
Bryn Weese
Senior Washington Correspondent
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Republican United States Presidential Candidate and former house speaker Newt Gingrich (Reuters/Eric Thayer)

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- This southern state and the Republican nomination race may be far removed from Canada, but that didn't stop Palmetto State primary winner Newt Gingrich from giving a shout out to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his victory speech.

While blasting President Barack Obama for rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline and the thousands of jobs it has been estimated it would create, Gingrich warned Canada will send its oil to China instead.

And he praised Harper, too.

"What Prime Minister Harper -- who, by the way, is conservative and pro-American -- what he has said is he's gonna cut a deal with the Chinese and they'll build a pipeline straight across the Rockies to Vancouver," Gingrich said Saturday night. "We'll get none of the jobs, none of the energy, none of the opportunity.

"Now, an American president who can create a Chinese-Canadian partnership is truly a danger to this country."

The Northern Gateway Pipeline would actually run from the Alberta oilsands to Kitimat, British Columbia, which is several hundred kilometres north of Vancouver. And, even if the regulatory process went as well as its proponent Enbridge hopes, it would be at least 2017 before any oil would flow to the west coast and Asian markets.

Earlier this week, the Obama administration rejected TransCanada's bid to build the $7 billion Keystone pipeline, citing the 60-day deadline by which he had to decide on the application imposed by Congressional Republicans didn't allow enough time to review the proposal.

At the time, Gingrich called the president's move "stunningly stupid."

On Saturday, he continued his attacks on Obama, calling him "out of touch with reality.

"The president says, 'no,' we don't want you to build a pipeline from central Canada straight down with no mountains intervening to the largest petrochemical centre in the world, Houston, so that we'd make money on the pipeline, we'd make money on managing the pipeline, we'd make money on refining the oil, and we'd make money on the ports of Houston and Galveston shipping the oil," Gingrich said. "Oh no, we don't want to do that because Barack Obama and his extremist left-wing friends in San Francisco, they think that'll really stop the oil from heading out."

Supporters of the Keystone pipeline, which would ship 700,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, have estimated the project would create 20,000 jobs and add hundreds of billions to the American economy.

Critics have opposed the project because the original route took the pipeline through an environmentally sensitive area in Nebraska. Even though TransCanada and the Nebraska legislature have since agreed to a new route around the Ogallala Aquifer, some environmentalists still oppose the pipeline because they say crude from Alberta's oilsands is "dirty" and more carbon intensive to produce.

Gingrich won the South Carolina primary Saturday with 40% support ahead of Mitt Romney who finished second with 28%. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul received 17% and 13% respectively.


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