This week the Prime Minister made what many view as a difficult political decision; to once again approve the construction of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project.
The total expected cost of the expansion and acquisition is now estimated to be around $14 billion.
The Prime Minister indicated that construction would begin during this year’s summer construction schedule and has not announced how the $14 billion will be repaid.
The day before this announcement was made the Liberals also tabled a motion to “declare that Canada is in a national climate emergency”.
For the record, a resolution of the House is defined as a “declaration of opinion or purpose; it does not require that any action be taken, nor is it binding.”
The Conservatives proposed amendments to the motion that called on the government to acknowledge that it is not on track to hit its Paris GHG reduction targets and also to recognize that climate change is a global problem.
Although the Conservative amendments were supported by the Green Party, they were voted down by the Liberal majority, who ultimately passed the original motion with the Conservatives opposed.
From those who are strongly opposed to the Trans-Mountain pipeline project, I am already hearing outrage that the Prime Minister would approve this $14 billion oil pipeline project the day after declaring a national climate emergency in Canada.
To understand their opposition to the Trans-Mountain project, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada, it will increase the nominal pipeline capacity from the current level of 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.
The upstream GHG emissions associated with 890,000 barrels per day is estimated to be between 20 and 26 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
However, as the expansion project is adding 590,000 barrels per day the upstream GHG emissions are estimated to be between 14 to 17 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year with the expansion.
NDP MP Peter Julian, who is from BC, commented that "The Liberals are slapping each other on the back because they passed a motion that is meaningless. [On Tuesday] they are going to rubber-stamp the Trans Mountain pipeline, which will dramatically increase greenhouse gas production in the country. The hypocrisy is beyond belief,"
The Liberals continue to insist that the environment and the economy go hand-in-hand.
So my question this week is not about whether you support the Trans-Mountain pipeline.
Instead, my question is;
Do you believe that oil pipeline expansion projects, that increase GHG emissions, actually go hand in hand with the environment as the Liberal government insists?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.