Is Alberta bitumen being subsidized by taxpayers?

Since every barrel of Alberta tar loses about $20 or more, just who is picking up the slack?

Editor, The Times:

I keep hearing about the great benefits of this now approved Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline twinning.

Lots of good paying jobs – yes for a short time – then what?

Short term bursts of prosperity often do more harm than good to the general prosperity of a nation.

Here are the facts and figures as of Jan. 22, 2017 – Texas crude, $53 a barrel – deduct about $10 a barrel for Alberta ‘select’ so $43 a barrel less other expenses. The price of Alberta select is determined by separate deals with the various oil companies rather than an exchange as Texas sweet crude is, so one can say the price of Alberta tar is hard to pin down.

Cost of production – north of $60 according to Jeffrey Rubin once top moneyman for CIBC.

Rubin also pointed out that if the price of crude does not shoot up in the very near future this twinned pipeline is well on its way to becoming a ‘stranded asset,’ costing far more than it can ever return.

Here is the ultimate question. Since every barrel of Alberta tar loses about $20 or more, just who is picking up the slack? It certainly isn’t the oil companies. In other words, is the delivery of bitumen to China and other destinations being and will be in the future subsidized by the Canadian taxpayer? Funny how popular socialism is as long as its socialism for the rich.

There are other factors in play here, despite all the pooh-poohing and physical interference, especially south of the border by the notorious Koch brothers and others (it will get worse and more effective under Donald Trump). The fact is that renewables are getting cheaper by the day. China is said to have manufactured and installed more solar panels than any other nation in the world. When their horribly polluted skies clean up they will reap the benefits. Of course they can always use the subsidized Alberta tar asphalt for their highways and fuel for their warships to go push their weight around in the South China Sea.

For the Chinese, a win-win situation all around.

But for Canada?

Dennis Peacock


Clearwater, B.C.



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