Trans Mountain Pipeline from Alberta to the British Columbia Coast

1084 words (4 pages) Essay in Transportation

23/09/19 Transportation Reference this

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Trans Mountain Pipeline from Alberta to the British Columbia Coast

  The Trans Mountain Pipeline is used to convey crude and refined oil from Alberta to British Columbia. With growing demand for oil around the world, it was in Canada’s best interest to have this pipeline designed and put into place so that they can ship and distribute to countries around the world. The original pipeline has been in use since 1953 and expansion projects have been added to run parallel to the original pipeline as demand has grown over the years. That being said, environmentalist and indigenous groups have tried to stop these pipelines from being built and expanded due to environmental and land concerns. Currently the Canadian government has put a halt to the any expansion projects until further reviews and assessments have been completed.

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The Trans Mountain Pipeline is a pipeline that conveys rough and refined oil from Alberta to British Columbia, Canada. Trans Mountain Pipeline is also a part of a new “Trans Mountain Corporation” which is wholly owned by Canada Development Investment Corporation which is in the hands of Canadian Parliament. The original Trans Mountain Pipeline was approved on March 21, 1951, when the Parliament of Canada allowed the organization a contract to begin building the first and only pipeline that would connect Alberta oil to British Columbia. The development of this pipeline had been completed in 1953 and to this day is still the only pipeline that connects the Alberta oilsands to the west shores of North America and the world markets.

Up to this date, the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion was possessed by the Canadian division of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners. This expansion project would expand the capacity from 300,000 barrels a day to 890,000. The length of this pipeline is approximately 1,150 kilometers (710 miles). The $7.4 billion* pipeline project would expand the reach of canadian oil by opening access to the world markets. It would be in the best interest for all Canadians and the parliament of Canada to go ahead with this expansion as the benefits would highly out weight the possible consequences. Currently the pipeline expansion has ran into a few hurdles as both environmental and indigenous groups has setup blockades and protests to halt the construction. All leading to a trade war between the Alberta and British Columbia governments and the Canadian parliament having to step in. Below is an article from a news clipping I had gathered from a public platform that relates to this exact topic on the delay of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Alberta unveils ‘real-time lost-revenue counter’ amid pipeline delays:

The Alberta government has discharged an “ongoing lost-income counter” with expectations of making it obvious exactly the amount Canadians are losing because of pipeline delays. The NDP says pipeline delays, including the Trans Mountain pipeline, are costing Canadians more than $80 million every day by keeping assets landlocked.

Hardly any issues in Canada are as troublesome as pipelines seem to be in the last couple of years. Furthermore, a couple of pipelines have tested the political solidarity of the nation as much as Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. Some arguments and concerns that have to be talked about are the following:

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1)     It threatens the local ecosystem: This is a huge concern that the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion would have to address as the effects on neighboring biological systems could be devastating. Development of the pipeline infers a seven-overlap increment in tanker traffic through the seas off the British Columbia coast. With the increase of tanker traffic comes the higher chances of oil spills had accidents that may occur over the years. Any oil spills into the ocean would be devastating for the local ecosystem.

2)     Destruction of indigenous areas: This is also a big issue with the Expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. In many areas this new expanded pipeline would need to pass through areas that are owned by First Nation groups. Most of the residential areas close to where this new expansion pipeline will be constructed would need to be destroyed. With that comes the risk of any oil spills or leaks in the pipeline over the years. This is a very sensitive topic as indigenous people rely on there land for food and survival.

There are many positive and negative arguments regarding the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and the effects it could have on the Canadian economy and its people. However, I believe that the positive effects of this pipeline expansion outweigh the negatives. One important reason, according to my findings and research, is that if this pipeline gets the approval to be constructed it will now allow Canadian oil to be shipped to many more markets across the world. With that we will now be widening our reach of how far and where Canadian oil can be shipped to by opening access to world markets where more expensive rates are paid for oil. Bringing about more prominent duty income for Canada federal and provincial taxes that can now be used for public services such as health care, education and overall boost the Canadian economy. Secondly, approval for the construction of this pipeline also gives employment to thousands of current Canadians that are seeking a job. As indicated by Conference Board of Canada assesses, the project would make what could be compared to 15,000 development occupations and as high as 37,000 long term positions needed to be filled.

In a nutshell, I would like to say that a solid, safe and naturally mindful pipeline industry is crucial to this country and its economy. If this pipeline is constructed successfully, it will not only create thousands of jobs, but it will also allow Canadian oil to be shipped to markets across the world. The reliance on current buyers such as the United States of America would be less dependent and Canadian oil can finally be valued at a much higher rate.

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