Alberta and Ottawa's Dilbit Dummies are Desperate Because of Their Own Mis-Management

The Canadian governments in Alberta and Ottawa appear increasingly more desperate to find a way to transport their vile brew of Tar Sands crud and the toxic chemical diluents necessary to pump the crap through pipelines. Their latest gambit is a feasibility study for a pipeline carrying 500,000 gallons a day north to Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., on the Beaufort Sea.

One reason for their desperation is that they are feeling the noose tighten. It's become clear that BC isn't going to allow either of the proposed dilbit pipelines westward to go forward. To the south the KXL resistance on the ground and in the media is growing more and more effective and other fantasies to expand the existing capacity, like the Enbridge’s Tar Sands Frankenstein, are also meeting stiff opposition. Then there's the competition from the exploding Bakkan Shale...Going east is more promising, sorta. It sounds some of the many jurisdictions between Ft. McMurray and Halifax welcome the crud but many others, like the strong environmental movement in Quebec and Northern Ontario, have yet to be heard from. So the dilbit dummies are looking north.

As Bob Page, director of the Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability at the University of Calgary says, "Moving viscous heavy crude oil requires a heated pipeline and the thermal shadow around that pipeline tends to melt the permafrost." he continued, "Getting around and sometimes under the powerful Mackenzie River — with its massive spring ice scour — would be another major hurdle." An email buddy also informed me that there's other near insurmountable problems like the huge cost of dredging the port in Tuktoyatuk that's surrounded by dangerous rocks. Also, it's more than 1o000 miles from the Bering Strait so during the winter months it would mean ice breakers leading the tankers past the North Slope oil fields of Alaska and it seems if tankers had been a viable option the Americans wouldn't have built the 1000 mile pipeline to Valdez. All of which shows just how desperate the dilbit promoters have become.

But why? Why when the Tar Sands are the world's largest single oil reserve, when the Canada and the rest of the world are going to need energy in the future when oil prices undoubtedly rise and technology will undoubtedly improve, are the dilbit dummies so desperate?

They're desperate because their decades ideologically driven economic strategy of balancing their books by over selling leases that were bought up by big oil only after the governments signed guarantees of rock bottom taxes and royalties is now bankrupting Alberta and will soon cripple Ottawa. Back a couple of decades ago when Peak Oil was peaking it looked to Alberta and Ottawa like things could only go up, like the time of endless growth was upon them, but Peak Oil was really about peak easy oil and as soon as the prices skyrocketed, presto, big oil found a whole buncha other less easy, more ugly alternatives.

Now, with the tar sands and others over supplying the American Midwest and other markets inaccessible the dilbit dummies are, as economist Robyn Allen says, "Subjecting the Canadian public [and others] to a misleading narrative because Alberta needs to shroud the facts behind their deficit by spinning a web of self-serving lies." Her report, 'Canada’s Pipeline Mania: An Economic and Financial Analysis' shows clearly that the combination of oversupply and the technological difficulty of refining the Tar Sands crud is why it sells for a low price.

All in all, the dilbit dummies are desperate now because of their own mis-management. The Albertans bragged for a generation about their surpluses that were in fact created by over selling development leases not sound financial planning. Instead of, like the tortoise would have advised, proceeding on a slow steady pace, of having the type of royalty and tax structure that other jurisdictions employed, policies that at least to some degree try to make the corporations and wealthy pay their fair share, the right-wing ideologues in Alberta and Ottawa cut taxes and sold leases, now, like the rabbit, they're desperate.