Labour wants Keystone pipeline put on hold



    NEB warned pipeline is a job killer

    EDMONTON, April 16 /CNW/ - In a submission to the National Energy Board
(NEB) on April 13, 2007, the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) argues that
the Keystone pipeline project that is currently before the NEB for approval is
not in the public interest.
    "We have asked the Board to consider the broader, long-term impacts of
approving the pipeline to connect suppliers of bitumen in Alberta to
purchasers of bitumen in the United States," says AFL President Gil McGowan.
    "We submit that Canadians should be getting the greatest value for their
resources and that the Keystone project falls well short of providing maximum
value in the areas of jobs, economic opportunity and long-term economic and
energy security.
    "According to a study by the economic consulting firm, Infometrica,
18,000 jobs would be created in Canada if the bitumen was refined here instead
of being shipped to the USA in the proposed pipeline," says McGowan.
    "But, more than jobs are at stake here," warns McGowan, "if Keystone goes
ahead, we will miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a broad healthy
value-added and research industry centered around a rejuvenated refining
industry."
    "If final approval is given to Keystone, billions of dollars will be
spent to retool and renovate current refineries in places like Illinois and
the American Gulf Coast," says McGowan. "If, however, the pipeline is not
approved, the same oil companies that are currently investing in American
refining capacity will likely make very different decisions regarding
investment in refineries in Canada - decisions which might be more in the
public interest of Canadians."
    The Federation also stressed the urgency of dealing with these public
interest issues now at the National Energy Board. "The links in the supply
chain are being forged now," warns McGowan, "they will become virtually locked
into place if major pipelines like the one currently under consideration are
approved."
    "The National Energy Board cannot pass the buck on the broad public
ramifications of Keystone to the federal and provincial governments,"
concludes McGowan. "Once the Board approves the building of the pipeline,
construction will begin. They must either widen the scope of their hearings
now to include the broader public interest or adjourn the hearings until such
time as the federal and provincial governments and all stakeholders develop a
comprehensive plan for the Canadian energy sector."

    The AFL's submission to the NEB is available at
www.afl.org/upload/keystonesubmission.pdf





For further information:

For further information: Gil McGowan, President, Bus: (780) 483-3021,
Cell: (780) 218-9888

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Alberta Federation of Labour

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