Tar sands oil should be refined in Canada

It would be far better to build a refinery right by Fort Mac and then ship the resulting sweet crude

Editor, The Times:

Ice melting and ocean levels rising 60 per cent faster than originally estimated….

Let’s review some basic principles here. When things warm up, ice melts, forms water and pushes water levels up. Fairly simple, wouldn’t you say?

However not to the Koch brothers and the Fraser and MacDonald-Laurier Frontier think tanks who, (financed by energy companies – not just oil but coal and others) continue to cast doubt upon global warming and the rise in ocean levels. Maybe someone dropped a big rock into the sea?

I just had an argument with a right-winger about all of this. He insisted we need oil wells, etc. to keep operating. Yes, to a point he was right. However, I pointed out that things like the proposed Gateway Pipeline made no sense. My argument was it would be far better to build a refinery right by Fort Mac and then ship the resulting sweet crude by railway, pipeline or some other mode of transportation.

Shipping sweet crude is far safer than dilbit (diluted bitumen), even by pipeline. It doesn’t have to be heated (or not very much) or propelled by pressure, and is nowhere near as corrosive.

His answer was, “You couldn’t build a refinery in Canada as it would have to conform to Canada’s environmental regulations.”

Oh horrors. Conform to Canada’s already weakened environmental rules?

Plus this refinery would provide several thousand good paying union jobs – that’s even worse!

No, better to have Enbridge, with its already dodgy reputation, build a pipeline over hazardous ground to load bitumen onto a supertanker that then has to navigate Douglas Channel and the rest of the narrow twisty waters onto to some refinery in an already horribly polluted land – China (60 per cent of China’s agricultural land is already affected).

There it would be refined by overworked, underpaid, Chinese refinery workers with little environmental protection.

Now isn’t that a bright idea?

Dennis Peacock

Clearwater, B.C.