CALGARY, June 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The National Energy Board is being asked
to approve the Keystone pipeline project on the basis of a woefully incomplete
account of how it will be used, lawyer Steven Shrybman told the Board today,
the last day of hearings into the TransCanada's application to export
500,000 barrels a day of raw bitumen from Alberta's tar sands to the mid-west
Shrybman is representing Canada's largest union of energy workers, which
opposes the project on the grounds that it goes against Canadian public
interest, economically and environmentally.
"This project is a bad deal for Canada and Canadians, says Dave Coles,
President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. "But
the NEB should deny the Keystone application based purely on the fact that
key, and potentially very harmful, details of the scheme are undisclosed," he
Excerpts from CEP's final arguments to the Board include the following:
- The absolute quantity of unprocessed bitumen that will leave Canada for
upgrading elsewhere is projected to triple to 1 million barrels a day
by the year 2015. This would, on the basis of an analysis by
Informetrica, represent a foregone opportunity for economic development
and employment that would be measured in tens of thousands of jobs
- A substantial number of upgraders now planned for Canada, would be
postponed or abandoned.
- There has been no consideration of other pipeline proposals that may
also serve oil sands producers, including by providing increased access
to U.S. markets. Some pipelines are designed exclusively to serve U.S.
markets as is the case for the Keystone Project. Others will increase
supply to Canadian markets and hence Canadian energy security. The
false premise of the Keystone application is that it is the only game
in town. In fact other pipeline proposals may accord much more closely
with Canadian policy goals.
- It would be an error for the Board to approve the Keystone pipeline
without assessing the environmental impacts of both upstream and
downstream facilities that may be directly connected to it.
The 150,000-member CEP represents over 35,000 workers in the oil, gas and
chemical industry in Ontario, Alberta and several other provinces.
A complete transcript of CEP's final arguments in these hearings, which
began June 4, can be found at www.cep.ca.
For further information:
For further information: Fred Wilson, Assistant to the CEP President,
(613) 327-3044; Steven Shrybman, (613) 858-6842