Dear corporate welfare bums: a second pipleline not a good idea

Dear Editor,

Crude oil from the tar sands are priced at less than $14 a barrel, well below the price of extracting it. Why should I care? Well since I am now a reluctant shareholder in what used to be called the Kinder Morgan assets, I along with every other Canadian contributed about $98 of my tax money to purchase the pipeline with the possibility of building a second line which would up my anti about $300. Mr. Trudeau, on my behalf, pays $4.5 billion for a pipeline that is about 4 billion more that it’s value when it was 15 years younger. My CEO Mr. Trudeau tells me that this purchase to keep the line going is in the national interest and part of the fight against pollution and global warming — sounds like a pitch of a snake oil salesman. If this is such a good deal you may wonder why Exxon Mobile, Shell, Marathon Oil, Canala Philip and Norway’s Statoil walked away from $30 billion assets in the tar sands could it be that they, unlike Mr. Trudeau, know that the market is locked down and countries like Saudi Arabia, US, Russia, Iraq and Iran are all producing much higher quality oil.

We get a lot of talk about the national interest, there is little to show after decades of oil extraction. Workers taxes is the only income for the government. Many countries do not allow more than 49 per cent of foreign ownership and in Norway, every citizen is a millionaire from the oil extraction. In the State of Alaska, every taxpayer receives an yearly sum assessed by profits. This has been going on since 1983 and Alaskans have by now received $ 41,200 each while the so-called Alberta rainy day fund is long gone and taxpayers are subsidizing the industry. It is difficult to determine what taxes and royalties are, however we do know from government reports that subsidies to oil and gas producers in 2017 amounted to $3.3 billion.

There are a number of reasons why a second pipeline is not a good investment. Tankers are now being built carrying four times the amount of oil thereby lowering costs, these same ships are unable to get into and out of Kindle Morgan’s Vancouver harbour when they are loaded. Another blow to our investment is that the International Maritime organization has passed laws that prohibit bunkers C oil [ read tar sands] to power thousands of ships on the ocean by 2020.

I sincerely hope that our CEO Mr. Trudeau or anyone else will not intend go ahead and spend an additional 10-plus billion of taxpayers’ money for the white elephant, the Kindle Morgan second pipeline. Imagine how many environmentally safe jobs, not to mention things like clean water etc., could be created if we supported that rather than what Tommy Douglas,the greatest of all Canadians, named the corporate welfare bums

John Jensen

Terrace, B.C.

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