Opinions & Letters

Economic reality is resource driven

 | February 21, 2012

Political Point of View
“The 20th Century belongs to Canada.” — Sir Wilfred Laurier.

The hysterically negative reaction by environmental groups opposed to both the Keystone and the Northern Gateway pipelines is typical of their short-sighted ignorance of economic reality. Whether they like it or not, Canada remains a resource based economy.

In an idyllically green world we wouldn’t need awful things like fossil fuels, but that era’s a long way off. We’re a wealthy country due to commodities that need to be wrenched from the ground. This wealth allows some the right to bitch about those companies and, in the case of Alberta, those provinces that really have no choice but to use the natural bounty upon which they sit.

Hollywood has-beens like Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon complain about pipelines spilling oil, but they’d be well advised to check on their own country first. America is criss-crossed by hundreds of thousands of miles of generally older pipelines that are corroding, posing much more danger of spills than the state-of-the-art installations we may be using. Perhaps Bob and Sue can explain how some Panamanian tanker bringing dirty or unethical oil from despotic Saudi Arabia or corrupt Nigeria is somehow better than from a friendly, stable, North American neighbour? Celebrity complaints are a bit dubious; these pious people use more fuel in their Learjets in a week than most of us use driving in a year.

Stephen Harper is actually right; we will sell oil, it’s a no brainer. If President Obama hasn’t got the brains to see that the Keystone XL line will deliver thousands of union jobs using American made heavy equipment from a friendly country, depending instead on the enviro vote rather than his other traditional base, he deserves to lose the election. It’s not as if Sierra Club members are going to vote Republican anyway. It’s not just lefty Canadians and ignorant Americans who seem determined to reduce their countries into campground economies where people sing “Kumbaya” all day long. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, with widespread public support, has promised to wean Germany off nuclear energy by 2020. This will please France greatly since it’ll be supplying Germany’s energy needs.

We in North America are cleaner and greener than anywhere else. It perturbs me to go to other countries and see the locals use their homelands as a garbage dump. We have a fair and just society where people, should they be really aggravated about income disparities, are quite free to leave for better places; where people can complain and be heard, (as they were during the public pipeline debate).

At the end of the day, people who are against energy and mineral extraction really need to clear their woolly heads and get used to the cold hard fact that their pampered lifestyles and clean green spaces are due to oil, gas, uranium, dams, power lines, industrial farming, mega corporations and animal killers who get their hands dirty for filthy lucre. That’s what I call a social program.