Strikeout for pipelines in Canada?

by Mr.Bean on March 30, 2016 - 8:10pm

With all the pipelines construction or expansion project refused in the past, it is fair to ask whether or not Canada will give its consent to the construction of a pipeline. Kyle Bakx’s article Oil export pipelines: Will Canada ever build another?  published on January 16th 2016, by CBC news, analyses the probability that Canada will actually not give the green light to build another pipeline. With the “oil market in a severe downturn and stiff opposition greeting every pipelines proposal”, the probabilities to see another pipeline seeing rise are lower than never. David Collyer, former president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) affirmed to Bakx that the question “was legitimate [even though pipelines remain] safest, most cost-effective and least carbon-intensive method of transporting oil”. Mr. Collyer also stated that the risks surrounding pipelines are “indisputable” and that “spills are rare but can be catastrophic causing significant damage to the environment”.

 Mr. Collyer affirms that Canada must now decide if the benefits of pipelines are worth the risks. On the other hand, Michal Moore, an economist with the University of Calgary's School of Public Policy, wonders if there is still a valuable market for oil after the major crash of oil-price worldwide.

What caught my attention in the article is that former President of the CAPP confessed that the environmental risks that a pipeline could cause are “indisputable and can be catastrophic”. It is, for me, a problem when the former President confirmed the fact that pipelines can extremely damageable for the environment. It just proves that the expert are aware of the danger of it, and they do almost nothing to change it. I am aware that making safer pipelines is far from an easy job, but they are some specialists out there that can certainly improve pipelines’ security.


Indeed, I do agree that constructing a pipeline across Canada can be extremely dangerous to the environment if a spill would occur, but as stated it is the most-cost effective method of transporting oil. If Canada's economy can largely benefit from extracting, transporting and exporting oil more than the damage caused by a spill, I think setting up a pipeline would be worth it. I'm certain that with more research and advancing technology, we are able to develop more secure pipeline in order to minimize the probabilities of creating an oil spill. If such probabilities can be lowered to a certain extent, then the risk of having a leak can be negligible.