MLA, Gary Coons says he rejects arguments made by Enbridge’s CEO on Thursday that if the Northern Gateway Pipeline is built, Canada will become a major player in the world’s oil market.
“At Enbridge, we are committed to helping make Canada a truly global energy superpower. But simply possessing our vast reserves of oil, gas, coal and renewable energy sources doesn’t make it true…An economic superpower, in whatever sector, is a country that has the influence, impact and standing on the world stage, that comes from delivering to partners across the globe,” said Enbridge CEO, Patrick. D. Daniel.
Daniel made his arguments during a speech in front of 300 business leaders at the Empire Club in Toronto. Coons believes that the entire speech is a desperate attempt to gather support for the energy company’s unpopular project, by trying to frame it as a nation-building business endeavor. Coons says that trying to expand into the oil market is the wrong decision.
“Canadians want the research efforts and money put into green energy projects, not fossil fuels,” says Coons.
Coons concedes that the pipeline could bring economic benefits much quicker than developing green energy projects will, but says that with Enbridge, B.C. is the one taking all the risk while getting nothing in return.
“We reap no benefit at all but we take all the risk. I see tankers on our coast only lining the pockets of the oil barons and their shareholders,” said Coons.
During his speech, Daniel said that without the pipeline Canada’s oil industry is limited to selling to the United States and must accept prices instead of setting them. He also framed opponents of the pipeline as “a coalition of hard-line activists,” and obstructionists who say no to energy sources, but still expect their
“[They say] ‘no’ to proposed projects and initiatives rather than seeking balanced, sustainable development and supporting continued prosperity for our entire country. We say ‘no’ to nuclear, we say ‘no’ to coal, we say ‘no’ to oil, we say ‘no’ to fracturing wells to recover natural gas, but we say ‘yes’ to light switches, cooked food, school busses and gas pedals,” said Daniel.
Daniel believes that the election is the right time to begin emphasizing Canada’s need to become a global leader in the energy industry.