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.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Pipeline camp liquor license gets second public hearing

“We really didn’t hear from enough people and we didn’t have the full spectrum of information.”

No new COVID-19 cases for the first time in weeks: Interior Health

Hospitalization also down to zero across the region

Chase RCMP seek information for decade-long missing person investigation

Shayne Murray Robinson’s truck was found abandoned by the Barriere RCMP detachment in 2010

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Travel restrictions inspiring co-operation in border communities

Small border towns are asking for exemption to travel ban

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Raptors kneel for both American and Canadian anthems ahead of tipoff

Majority of players have substituted their names on the backs of their jerseys with racial and social justice messages

Wild’s Mathew Dumba makes anti-racism speech, kneels ahead of Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Matt Dumba, 26, took to center ice to speak on behalf of fellow members of the Hockey Diversity Alliance

Most Read