The Obama administration has been punting a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline for five years now, and theres no sign the presidents kicking leg is getting tired.
BC Green party MLA Andrew Weaver has (grudgingly) endorsed the idea of building a $25 billion refinery in British Columbia to convert Alberta's bitumen into gasoline, diesel fuel, and aviation fuel, allowing the export of refined product, which, Weaver says, is safer for the environment because refined petroleum products evaporate more quickly and cause less environmental damage than heavier oils. The BC refinery idea has also gotten a nod from Premier Christy Clark but been criticized by members of the NDP. Mr.
Discussions surrounding the need for new pipelines to transport Canada's oil to market have been a dominant economic, environmental, and political issue for the past several years. Canada's overwhelming reliance on the United States as a customer, the U.S.'s growing energy self-sufficiency, and limited pipeline infrastructure have placed a low ceiling on the prices Canadians are able to secure for our energy exports.
Yet another train derailment involving petroleum products has re-invigorated the debate over how we transport oil in Canada. In this case, 17 cars on a train near Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, derailed; nine of which carried dangerous goods including crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas. According to recent reports, the cause of the derailment seems to involve a brake failure of some kind. As we have seen in other derailments, the derailed cars erupted in flames, causing, in this case, the evacuation of 150 people from nearby houses.
As almost everyone knows by now, Canada has some interesting challenges looming when it comes to transporting increasing oil production to markets both inside and outside of Canada. What many Canadians might not realize is how important oil exports are to Canadas economy. Canada has the worlds third largest proven oil reserves, is the fifth largest exporter of crude oil, and is the fifth largest producer of crude oil in the world.
Iran is making lots of noise about closing the Strait of Hormuz, the vital international waterway that carries 17 million barrels of oil every day35 percent of the crude oil transported by sea. The control of the Persian Gulf region is in Irans hands, Iranian naval chief Habibollah Sayyari ominously warns. This follows news that the Iranian parliament is mulling legislation to block tanker traffic through the strait, which comes on the heels of Sayyaris boast late last year that closing the strait would be easier than drinking a glass of water.