Thursday, January 28, 2016

Energy East, Once Again

DeSmog Blog has a guest post on the Energy East pipeline.  I am a huge fan of DeSmog, but I think this post is wrong-headed and ultimately counterproductive.  Because it is, at bottom, an a priori rejection of the project before it even goes through a newly revamped ie toughened NEB process that now explicitly considers "upstream emissions".  My view is if it goes through the process successfully then, in the absence of legal action by the First Nations along its route, it should be given federal approval.

You have to think of this as the first step in a process.  Carbon is priced in Phase 1, and then in phases 2, 3, 4, and so on, that price is gradually ratcheted up.  Alberta has been told that, if it cleans up its act and gets with Phase 1, it will be given a chance to send its oil to the larger world market, where it might fetch a better price.  And so, at some political cost to the ruling government and economic cost to the province itself, it has attempted to do right.

So how do you then get a buy-in on phase 2, 3 and etc. if this good behaviour is not rewarded somehow?  If  no action the province takes will be rewarded why bother doing anything in future? So do we achieve our ultimate goal (hitting our announced carbon reduction targets) more quickly through cooperating or trying to steam-roll a whole industry out of business?

1 comment:

Steve Bloom said...

The question is whether the environmental review process holds out a fair prospect of rejecting the project. Does it? Your second link looks like it may have been intended to go to something relevant to that, but instead it went to the same article as the first one.

(If I were a robot I'd be a better go player.)