I picked up today’s issue of Metro newspaper during my first break at work today, and discovered an article in which Alberta’s current premier, Jim Prentice, claimed ‘Canada’s future hangs in the balance’ if proposed pipeline projects–in particular, the Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain, XL Keystone, and Energy East–aren’t approved for construction.
Surprisingly, seeing as I’m saying something about this, I disagree–especially given the risks involved in burst pipelines and oil spills, and the overall environmental ruin the pipelines will cause if constructed. The fact is, industrialized countries have developed an over-dependency on oil and various types of gas for energy needs, and the oil and gas industry–Alberta’s included–have a vested interest in keeping us overly dependent on oil and gas as forms of energy, instead of investing in developing other forms of energy for our needs. What Premier Prentice–like his predecessor, Alison Redford–fail to realize, in her, and now his, zeal to push the pipeline projects onto the Canadian public, is that the generations after us will pay through the nose for the self-interest and short-term personal gain of, among others, the provincial government of Alberta and its corporate sponsors, most of them in the oil-and-gas industry.
Prentice claims that Canadians will ‘feel the pain (of having no more pipelines) as and when this begins to happen.’ However, we, and, more importantly, our descendents, will feel even more pain and devastation if this generation doesn’t discover other ways to generate energy which don’t impact the planet as much as oil and gas do, and if the oil-and-gas industry doesn’t release the choke-hold it shares with the coal industry on the energy-production corner of the economy.