The two main reasons for the proposed Northern Pipeline are to meet the ever-increasing removal of bitumen from the tar sands and to send the stuff to Asian markets.
If we get beyond our need for instant gratification, plan for the longer term and heaven forbid, reduce bitumen extraction instead, not only will we not need the pipeline, but the value of the bitumen will increase over time because of the world’s scarcity of oil.
In choosing to live with less oil, we will be motivated/forced to develop and employ renewable energy. As an added benefit, environmental degradation will be slowed. And even if there’s not a consensus regarding mankind’s influence on climate change, it’s simply immoral to burn any more fossil fuel than we have to.
Secondly, we should keep our oil for ourselves, which would enable us to stop the ridiculous policy of importing oil in Eastern Canada. Any leftovers should be transported in existing pipelines to markets in the U.S.
Thirdly, there is so much money in oil that we should: 1. Reduce the subsidies to the oil companies and direct them instead towards the development of renewables, and 2. Tax the oil companies like they do in Norway: $550 billion and counting in Norway’s rainy day fund.
Our politicians need to man up and stop kissing Big Oil butt. It’s Canadians who own this black gold and Big Oil has very few other options.