Pair Keystone pipeline with green incentives: Trudeau


mentalfloss
#1


Pair Keystone pipeline with green incentives: Trudeau

FORT McMURRAY, ALTA. — Justin Trudeau says he would bolster Canada’s case for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline by introducing financial incentives to curb greenhouse-gas emissions in the oil and gas industry.

Canada should establish a price for carbon emissions to show it’s addressing climate change and to give President Barack Obama political “cover” to approve TransCanada Corp.’s $5.4 billion project, Trudeau, leader of Canada’s Liberal Party said yesterday in an interview in Fort McMurray, Alberta. He said he was “agnostic” about how the price should be set.

“The way to promote Keystone XL is not to be shouting, ‘You need to approve this.’ It’s to actually get our own house in order and demonstrate we’re serious about the responsibilities that come with carbon emissions,” said Trudeau. “That’s why it’s become politically untenable to approve something that should have been approved years ago.”

Trudeau’s call to action contrasts with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s position that he won’t regulate oil and gas emissions without similar U.S. measures because it would put Canadian producers at a competitive disadvantage. Harper and his ministers have continued to press for Keystone in speeches and meetings with U.S. officials.

The State Department said in April it would again delay a decision on Calgary-based TransCanada’s conduit in order to give parties more time to comment. That further stalled a project first proposed in 2008 and originally intended to come online in 2012. Obama has said he won’t approve the pipeline if it significantly adds to carbon emissions linked to global warming.

Canada has the world’s third-largest crude reserves, much of it in the oilsands near Fort McMurray. The area’s heavy crude has traded at an average of $18.70 per barrel below the U.S. benchmark over the last five years due in part to transportation bottlenecks. The discount costs Canada’s economy as much as C$50 million a day, according to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of crude a day from the oilsands to Gulf Coast refineries.

Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford said he’ll continue working with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to “enhance cooperation on energy and the economy.” Canada won’t “take actions unilaterally that would put Canadian jobs and the economy at a disadvantage,” Rickford said in an emailed statement today in response to Trudeau’s comments.

Rickford, Finance Minister Joe Oliver and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird all travelled to New York this month, arguing in media interviews and at an energy conference that Obama has unfairly entangled the $5.4 billion pipeline with U.S. politics.

“It’s not moving forward,” Trudeau said of the pipeline. “We’ve never had a worse relationship with the United States, because perhaps our entire continental relationship has been reduced to not just one industry or one company but one single project.”

Trudeau, son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, cited moves by Obama this month to cut emissions from U.S. power plants, that country’s largest source of greenhouse gases.

Harper said June 9 that the U.S. moves don’t go as far as Canada’s regulations in the power-generation sector. He said Canada would deal with climate change in a way that protects Canadian jobs, not destroys them.

Trudeau, 42, said his Liberals would spell out in an election platform how they would go about putting a price on carbon. Former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion lost the 2008 election after proposing a carbon tax that was vilified by the Conservatives.

The Liberals have held a consistent lead in public opinion polls since Trudeau became leader in April last year. While the next general election is scheduled for October, 2015, there are partial elections scheduled June 30 to fill four vacancies, including the district containing Fort McMurray.

“The Liberal Party is somewhat agnostic,” Trudeau said. “We recognize the fact that the discussion around carbon pricing has been incredibly polarized politically.”

Harper’s Conservative-Party government has been regulating greenhouse-gas emissions on an industry-by-industry basis. The main opposition New Democratic Party has proposed a cap-and- trade system, which Conservative lawmakers have labelled a “tax on everything.”

At the provincial level, Alberta requires companies that emit more than 100,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year to cut emissions per barrel by 12 per cent or pay a penalty of C$15 per ton. The proceeds of the levy are paid into a fund that invests in technologies that cut carbon output.

British Columbia established a carbon tax in 2008, which is imposed on fossil-fuel consumers and designed to encourage use of alternative fuels.

Whatever form the carbon price takes, businesses need clarity, Trudeau said. Companies “want to know where the benchmarks will be, what the expectations will be, for the next 10 years, for the next 25 years.”

“That kind of clarity will allow industry to make a business model, invest in capital upgrades they need to justify to their shareholders,” he said. “That kind of clarity is exactly what this government hasn’t given.”

While Trudeau has joined Harper in supporting Keystone XL, he reiterated his intention to kill another proposed pipeline: Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway, which was approved by Harper’s cabinet earlier this month.

Trudeau said the project, which would cross the mountains of British Columbia and bring oilsands crude to the Pacific Coast for export by tanker, never had local support and was “doomed” from the beginning.

“There are a lot of tools at a prime minister’s and a government’s disposal,” Trudeau said when asked how he’d stop Northern Gateway. “We’ll use the most appropriate one that has the lowest impact and cost for Canadians.”

Pair Keystone pipeline with green incentives: Trudeau (external - login to view)
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#2
Maybe Trudeau ought to look at the 'greenness' of the US resource producers before he opens his potatoe-trap on how Cdn producers operate.... He'll immediately learn that the WH is entirely full of platitudes on this issue

Note: AB already has a carbon tax and sequestration.
 
mentalfloss
#3
The thing about this is the optics.

Harper has painted himself as an environmental villain and all Trudeau has to do is pay lip service to unite the left.
 
petros
+1
#4
And yet Trudeau wants more oil exports...a carbon tax is a great way to raise capital to extract more oil.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+2
#5  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

The thing about this is the optics.

Harper has painted himself as an environmental villain and all Trudeau has to do is pay lip service to unite the left.

The optics have been aggressively manipulated in the name of politics and Trudeau is attempting to wade into this silly game

Obama and Americans either want something like KXL or they don't... The reasons for their acceptance/rejection really don't matter - it's solely their decision to make.

What has become destructive in this particular example is the misinformation that has been deliberately introduced into the general public debate (regardless of what 'side' does it). A rational decision can not be made by anyone based on such significant inaccuracies.

What we are seeing now (in my opinion) is that the Dems have backed themselves into a corner on KXL and essentially can not (from a political perspective) approve KXL regardless if the project would be a benefit to American citizens.... This is what I find remarkably destructive.

In the end, what has been the result?... Did they shut down the oilsands?... Has there been wholesale adoption of wind and solar?... How about a dedicated and purposeful reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels?

The answer to all of the above is a simple 'No'... In fact, one might argue that the delay/rejection of KXL has prompted the fast-tracking of 3 major pipelines within Canada that will have a net impact of promoting even more aggressive development of oil/gas assets in Canada.
 
mentalfloss
#6
I think you are over complicating it.

There are a group of people who see Keystone as necessary and another group who adamantly rebel against it.

The Liberals are just doing what they do best and finding a rational compromise between these two groups and that's a good way to dissolve a wedge issue to gain support.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

The thing about this is the optics.

Harper has painted himself as an environmental villain and all Trudeau has to do is pay lip service to unite the left.

No, the ecoterrorists painted Harper as an environmental villian because he refused to play dead and let them destroy the Canadian economy. Most of us want to move forward instead of refighting past wars.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I think you are over complicating it.

There are a group of people who see Keystone as necessary and another group who adamantly rebel against it.

The Liberals are just doing what they do best and finding a rational compromise between these two groups and that's a good way to dissolve a wedge issue to gain support.

You'll always have the opposing camps on these issues, each with it's own rationale and practices.

The gubmint, in theory, should be basing all of their decisions on the best interests of their nation as a whole as opposed to playing politics.

In the end, that 'best interest' will prevail in one form or another. The only questions are 'when' the decision will be made and how much pain will folks have to endure in the meantime.

In the KXL situation, playing politics has trumped an objective and rational analysis of the issue
 
mentalfloss
#9
Of course politics is the primary motivator.

That's why we need a pragmatic approach to negotiation instead of having a government that thinks they can impose their will without any concessions.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Of course politics is the primary motivator.

That's why we need a pragmatic approach to negotiation instead of having a government that thinks they can impose their will without any concessions.


It's not about concessions, it's about facts and the best interests of the citizenry.

Think about heavy mfg in Ontario... If concessions were to be delivered to every lobby group that pissed and moaned, there would never have been a mfg sector in Ontario, certainly not one that was competitive and would grow.

Lobby groups (incl industry) have flooded the public with so much misinformation that it's impossible to make an objective decision on anything if the gvt decides to act as arbitrator.

It's the general public that pays the price on this MF via lower tax revenues which translates into fewer services, more debt and greater reliance on the spin-doctors to tell them what they want
 
petros
#11
It's only a loss of $1.39 per Canadian per day that the pipelines are delayed.

What's a $1.39?
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#12
This is a position that changes the equation somewhat. Trudeau knows there is
nothing in Alberta anyway and if Harper is thrown out the Tories in Alberta will have
to deal with him Mulcair knows there ain't much in Alberta for him either so they
move on to where votes are richer it provides them with cover.
I don't like carbon taxes anyway and his move pushes me from thinking about him
and into the political arms of Mulcair by virtue of I won't vote Green nor Tory.
I have two choices or a spoiled ballot
I am not against the oil sands I am against companies that rare not responsible if they
are there is a job to do. Fracking is not written off either we simply don't know what if
any damage there is not determined and we can't just listen to the talking heads we
need proof
I am not in favor of a carbon tax, We pay enough already and other countries in the world
are getting competitive advantage at our expense
 
petros
+1
#13
90,000 frakked wells in Canada. Name one proven to be an issue.
 
mentalfloss
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

It's not about concessions, it's about facts and the best interests of the citizenry.

Think about heavy mfg in Ontario... If concessions were to be delivered to every lobby group that pissed and moaned, there would never have been a mfg sector in Ontario, certainly not one that was competitive and would grow.

Lobby groups (incl industry) have flooded the public with so much misinformation that it's impossible to make an objective decision on anything if the gvt decides to act as arbitrator.

It's the general public that pays the price on this MF via lower tax revenues which translates into fewer services, more debt and greater reliance on the spin-doctors to tell them what they want

You're creating a doomsday scenario that the general public doesn't really care about.

People don't even care about billion dollar boondoggles.

They want to hear about the government generally taking care of both the economy and the environment and at face value, the Liberals just need to pay lip service to both for the win.
 
petros
#15
Is reclamation not working?
 
mentalfloss
#16



A minority liberal government would restore the country to some level of sanity.
 
petros
#17
And?
 
mentalfloss
#18
A minority liberal government would restore the country to some level of sanity.
 
petros
#19
It's not sane?
 
gerryh
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

, the Liberals just need to pay lip service to both for the win.

nice to see you admit that all they are doing is lip service

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post




A minority liberal government would restore the country to some level of sanity.


Really? All this country needs is Lip service?
 
mentalfloss
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

Really? All this country needs is Lip service?

Apparently so, as we've clearly moved on from 2008 and people want to hear more about the environment than the economy.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Apparently so, as we've clearly moved on from 2008 and people want to hear more about the environment than the economy.

That's really, really funny.

Remember back in 2006 - 2007 when there was all the talk, concerts and Earth Days (hours, minutes, weeks, etc)... The recession hit and magically, no one paid a second thought to the environment.... Even Suzuki stopped touring the country in his big 12 cyl diesel bus
 
mentalfloss
#23
Of course.

We will need another recession to drive the focus back on the economy.
 

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