Re: Allison Budd's letter of Nov. 17 on the Northern Gateway pipeline, advocating that we should "get started while we have the time."
Obviously, Budd has done considerable research, and I am not questioning her facts. But I do question her conclusions.
Yes, from the most recent figures I could find,Canada consumes 1.85 million barrels of oil per day out of the 2.5 million it produces. And with the U.S. apparently close to providing most or all of its needs soon, maybe we should export to those emerging economies, mainly China and India.
But hold on, what about Russia, sitting on their doorsteps, so to speak? In 2011, Russia became the largest producer and exporter of oil in the world - 10,540,000 barrels per day. Two-thirds of this came from western Siberia reserves. Who knows what other reserves they have, explored or unexplored?
And the grade of their oil is superior to ours. Can you spell "white elephant" in relation to our proposed pipeline? Maybe "black elephant" would be a more appropriate term.
So, are we going to be poorer because we will have a glut of oil in Canada? In the 1970s, we had 40 refineries, now down to 19. Supply and demand will greatly reduce the price of heating oil and gasoline. I can handle that "poorer" scenario.
And what to do with the surplus? How about more greenhouses, producing high quality organic fruits and vegetables, heated with low-cost natural gas and the surplus oil?
The disaster of a pipeline spill, on land or on the West Coast is a matter of when, not if.