MP REPORT: Pipelines are needed

Colin Mayes defends the federal government's policies regarding resource industries

I am very perplexed at the pipeline phobia that has spread in our province. The pipeline to take oil from the oil sands to the port of Kitimat is one issue.   Now, there is resistance to the proposal to increase the size of the pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver by Kinder Morgan.

The pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver, built in 1957, runs through scenic Jasper National Park and down the Yellowhead to Kamloops and then on to Vancouver. So why is there resistance to upgrading this 57-year-old pipeline?  There has never been a problem with this pipeline.  All the owner wants to do is increase the capacity of the pipeline which will be built in accordance with our new tougher regulations.

In my view, the proposed Gateway Pipeline from Edmonton to Kitimat is a far better means to transport crude oil from the oil sands compared to the rail alternative.

Any pipeline built in Canada today will need to conform to our government’s new environmental regulations — the most stringent in the world.  Canada is a net exporter of natural gas and oil.  It is good for the economy to develop new markets rather than rely on the sole market south of the border.

Logic and historical facts tell me that pipelines are a safe and effective way to transport oil and gas, so why the phobia?  Some opponents to the pipelines vision the risk of a spill.

With that logic, we would not use airplanes to travel.  Yes, there is a risk to flying but technology has mitigated the risk and it is the safest way to travel.  Could the underlying resistance be related to a back door approach in stopping the Alberta oil sands development?

If this were the case, and the same people are also against the development of new mines, and the harvesting and management of our forest resource in B.C., please help me resolve the issue of how government is going to pay for all of their demands for government services without any tax revenue?

In your government’s Jobs and Growth Budget 2012-2013, our government streamlined the environmental review process for various natural resource developments.

We did not compromise the regulations, but simply made the process timely. Five, six or seven years of process to hear a yes or no decision is not acceptable. Our actions will not make the process less stringent, or environmentally irresponsible, but to simply cut duplication and minimize the obstruction tactics used by some to compromise the applicant’s right to due timely process.

My comment is not meant to endorse any application but to assure my constituents that any decision is based on a scientific analysis not a demonstrator’s phobia for pipelines. The decision is also determined by the net economic value to the region and Canadians.

The new regulations and environmental protection initiatives that our government has just recently announced, can be found at:  http://actionplan.gc.ca/en/content/r2d-dr2.