A message for the many voices trying to end the Keystone and Kitimat pipelines; you can kill the pipelines, but you can't stop the flow of oil. We have substantial oil reserves and the world has an insatiable appetite for the substance. Short of the NDP forming government and making it illegal to harvest oil, it will continue to travel by the old reliable methods, tankers, roads, rail, etc. Do you think that a fleet of tankers is safer and cleaner than a pipeline? Seriously? That is today's poll question.
The people who are fighting to kill the pipeline from Edmonton to northern BC, the alternative is the status quo, an aged pipeline that runs under metro Vancouver. Do you think that is cleaner or safer? Pipeline to Kitimat, or pipeline under greater Vancouver that carries oil to Vancouver harbour? It is a no brainer. And if you kill the existing pipeline that will just mean more trucks and trains traveling through the mountain passes. Great, that never turns out badly...
You can't stop the flow. Your best hope is diminishing demand through technological innovations, but that won't stop demand to the developing world anytime soon. Perhaps we could put an electric car in every Canadian driveway (though watch what that would do to the price of electricity), but you can't deliver that to the whole world within a plausible timeline. Demand will continue, and even if it slowly diminishes, as supply diminishes prices will remain profitable.
We have trillions of dollars worth of this stuff under the ground. That value leads to jobs, which leads to economic activity which supports countless supporting businesses. It also funds billions of dollars in tax revenue for the government. The oil sands in Alberta helps pay for health care in Quebec and Ontario. How much money does the Canada Pension fund have invested in Canadian Natural Resources? Billions. How many Canadians collect cheques from CPP?
Should Canada build more oil refineries? Yes, absolutely. But if you shut down oil production, the economic consequences would be catastrophic. Come on people; give your heads a good shake!