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Oil sands bitumen exports undermine Canada's economic future

Canada is headed down the wrong economic path by exporting raw oil sands bitumen, former ICBC CEO Robyn Allan said in a stirring presentation a week ago at the West Coast Oil Pipeline Summit. Allan highlighted the economic danger posed by oil sands pipelines including Keystone XL, Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan that the federal government has been promoting in the name of jobs and growth. Below are excerpts from her presentation, "Oil Sands Development and the Economic Consequences".

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2. Lost opportunity to add value, create meaningful jobs and control environmental standards here at home.


3. Hollowing out of the oil sector as raw bitumen exports take precedence over upgrading and refining.

4. Continued reliance on foreign oil imports through eastern Canada.


 5. A growing dependence on foreign condensate imports through western Canada.


6. Crowding-out of BC’s legitimate and vibrant economic activity.


 7. Twice the number of pipelines and double the tanker traffic to move diluted bitumen as compared to upgraded bitumen.

8. More than twice the environmental risk and related costs.

 9. As soon as Northern Gateway and TransMountain are approved, more pipeline capacity will be demanded.

10. Supernatural British Columbia becomes a Supertanker terminal for Alberta. 

Big oil’s corporate rapid extraction and export strategy makes no economic sense. 

Crude oil pipelines through British Columbia make no economic sense. Oil tankers make no economic sense.

We need to develop an energy policy in Canada, Made-in-Canada, for and by Canadians. 


Photo credits: 

1. Title image: Flickr (Adam Bognar)

2. Stephen Harper: Flickr (Kashmera)  

3. Stephen Harper walking: Flickr (Kashmera)

4. Oil price cartoon: Dan Phelps

5. Beach sign: Flickr (Jason Lacey)


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