Keith Gerein: Extreme ideas may be Alberta’s only answer in an energy fight lacking common sense
The list of grievances has grown so long over the past year that it’s been hard to keep track.
Pipeline delays. Overly rigorous changes to the approval process. Obstructionist governments in B.C. and Quebec. Apathy from Ottawa to buy rail cars. A tanker ban that seems to ban only Alberta petroleum products. Equalization.
The frustration many Albertans feel from such issues comes in a couple of different forms.
One is the knowledge that rectification is largely beyond the control of the province, which is landlocked and has less than 12 per cent of Canada’s population.
The second is the thick sheen of hypocrisy that clings to such injustices, in which Alberta and its primary industry have been seemingly singled out for treatment that isn’t being extended to everyone.
It was for that reason I viewed with interest a proposal from the Alberta Party this week calling for a tanker ban in the St. Lawrence Seaway, if not the entire East Coast.
If Ottawa is truly serious about protecting marine habitats, then prohibiting oil tankers should apply to the Atlantic and Pacific equally, the party said in a news release, noting the endangered status of the Beluga whale in the St. Lawrence.
The demand is ludicrous of course. The federal government says that 82 million tonnes of petroleum products are moved in and out of Atlantic Canada each year, while Quebec sees movement of 25 million tonnes.