Tag Archives: bitumen

David Black - Photo by David Dyck, Canadian Press

Gordon Gibson, David Black, and the Fraser Institute got it wrong


Gordon Gibson used to be Liberal until he fell in with those proponents of consensual slavery, The Fraser Institute. While I find myself in great sorrow saying this, Gibson has become a all out capitalist suck.

Witness his article today on the op-ed page of the Globe and Mailas he talks about David Black’s idiotic plan to build a $13 billion oil refinery near Kitimat.

The Gibson I knew would never have allowed this Gibson to utter such tripe.

Gordon waxes lyrical about this “project”, uncritically accepting the numbers put out by Black’s flacks (neat little rhymer, don’t you think?)

Here’s paragraph 2:

The startling development is a proposal; for a $13 billion oil refinery… that would provide 6000 construction jobs for five years and 3000 direct jobs thereafter, as well as thousands of service soon-offs. Hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues be generated annually. In effect, our resources would have value added here instead if China. No government could ignore that kind of opportunity”.

This is precisely what Black’s flacks said.

Gordon, had I made such a statement in the Legislature when you were a member of the opposition, you would have eaten me alive. You would have demanded to know what research developed these figures.

The thing that separates a journalist from a flack is the search for proof of statements made. You take these numbers as a given – what the hell has happened to you? Your column today should have been a paid advertisement for David Black.

You go on to say:

“On the environment side, there idea would vastly reduce concerns about tanker accidents. No longer would the floating behemoths be carrying heavy bitumen. Instead the cargo would be diesel, gasoline our jet fuel which evaporate quickly after a spill. Environmentalists should be overjoyed.

The Exxon Valdez didn’t carry bitumen.

As to environmentalists being overjoyed – let me explain things to you, Gordie.

I can only speak for myself though I believe that most of your despised environmentalists would agree on these points.

I’m not against development per se although like Jeff Rubin in his recent best seller The End Of Growth, I believe that we had better get rid of the notion that we must always develop or fall far behind. There are limits, this pipeline and tanker traffic being just that.

What I’m against is this entire exercise, on environmental grounds.

Pay attention, Gord:

1. Spills from the pipeline are not risks but certainties. Enbridge admits that.
2. Spills from tankers are inevitable – I know of no one whom would say different. And even diesel, gasoline and jet fuels do colossal damage, especially to fish, birds and other wildlife.
3. And here, take off your Fraser Institute dark glasses, for this is the crunch –
We are talking about 1100 kms. through two mountain ranges and the Great Bear Rain Forest – all areas unreachable by clean-up equipment. Even if they could be reached, the Kalamazoo horror teaches us that if nothing else, bitumen spills can not be cleaned except by cosmetic efforts like putting turf over the bitumen to make it look OK for awhile.

Moreover we’re talking about a company, Enbridge, that averages more than a spill per week. Moreover, because these spills cannot be cleaned up, we’re talking ongoing piling of one disaster upon another – a serial environmental crime.

Is it unreasonable to stand 100% against a project that will do this permanent damage – despite all efforts to avoid it and clean it up if they don’t?

The tendency is to demand compromise and mitigation (a despicable weasel word) but what is there to compromise? It’s rather like striking a happy balance between life and death.

As a piece of journalism your article is a piece of shit.

As an act of the Fraser Institute kissing the ass of environmental despoilers, it is a masterpiece worthy of being in the public relations hall of fame.

Erratum: Gordon Gibson is no longer associated with the Fraser Institute.


$1.7 Billion and Rising: Taxpayers’ Gas Bill for Oil Sands


Alberta’s oil sands extractors’ use of natural gas,
already voracious and set to rise steeply, is more than half paid for by
Canadian taxpayers — a vast yet little-known subsidy that insiders say
encourages profligate consumption of a finite energy source. The numbers are huge. Oil sands operations
currently consume about one billion cubic feet of gas per day, heating
thick bitumen so it can be extracted from surrounding rock and gravel.
This reverse-alchemy eats up about 20 percent of Canada’s natural gas demand and may balloon to 40 per cent by 2035. Read more of Tyee article here