Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Edmonton Journal Opinion piece points Enbridge towards Prince Rupert

With Enbridge left to ponder the lay of the land when it comes to their Northern Gateway project, one contributor to the Edmonton Journal's Opinion pages is offering the energy company a little advice that is becoming more and more frequent of late. 

Abandon the Kitimat proposal and redraw the map with a terminus at Prince Rupert.

Bob Russell, a former member of the Edmonton Metro Planning Commission outlined his thoughts for Edmonton paper yesterday, highlighting many of the reasons that have already formed the backdrop against the Kitimat terminal proposal.

He updates the list of the past issues that Enbridge faced and adds an additional one, the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling in favour of the Tsilhqot'in First Nation 

That decision has been one which many suggest will be a game changer for many industrial projects across the province.

Having reviewed the challenges of the Douglas Channel route and the many concerns previously made when it comes to that option, Russell turns his attention to what he says is the more viable alternative, that of a route to take Enbridge to the shores of the Pacific at Prince Rupert.

Russell reviews how he believes that using existing rights of way for Highway 16 and CN Rail could blaze the trail for any potential pipeline to the Port of Prince Rupert, a route he suggests could avoid any further controversy with First Nations across the province.

His map if following Highway 16, would take a portion of the pipeline along the Skeena River. A route that we are fairly certain would make for a controversial choice all in itself and one that would seem destined to make for much in the way of push back should it ever be put forward.

He also seeks to reduce the anxiety over bitumen shipments, by suggesting that the raw material be upgraded in Alberta and then goes further to offer up a scenario where discussions with the BC government should take place to establish a refinery at Prince Rupert. 

That prospect could give cause to a shudder for some on Prince Rupert City Council, two weeks ago Councillor Ashley offered up an early warning that she was not in favour of any form of oil refinery to be allowed within the City of Prince Rupert

At that time she offered up the prospect of further discussion on the theme still to come for our elected officials, so Council and the public may yet get to offer up some thoughts on the theme in the months to come.

The opinion piece is obviously just that, one person's opinion, for the moment it has the same amount of relevance as a conversation at a coffee shop. Yet it does indicate a growing theme that Enbridge may need to review its approach to delivery of Alberta's raw materials to world markets.

This weeks item is not the first time that it has been suggested that Prince Rupert should be considered as the terminus and shipment point. 

In early June on the blog we outlined how the theme of a change of location for Enbridge was being presented in national and international media.

Considering recent developments on the topic, we imagine that these contributions won't be the last.

The full opinion piece from the Journal can be found here.

For a review on many of the past items on the Northern Gateway proposal see our archive page here.

Past items on prospective oil terminal development on the North Coast can be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment