U.S. has interest in blocking Canada’s oil

One of the things I really enjoy about our federal majority government is its backbone

One of the things I really enjoy about our federal majority government is its backbone … in this case its decision to jam up the U.S.-financed, eco-obstructionists on this side of the border who are doing their best to turn the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline hearings into a drawn out farce.

Just as the hearings began, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver released a tough letter condemning some opponents of the pipeline. He warns of “environmental and other radical groups” including “jet-setting celebrities” funded by foreign special interest groups who “threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological ends.”

The hearings into the controversial $5.5 billion pipeline to move Alberta crude to tankers at Kitimat started Monday and are expected to last 18 months. That’s about a year longer than initially anticipated because about 4,000 higher purpose people have asked to make oral presentations at hearings across northern B.C. and Alberta.

Never again, the Tories say. The government will introduce rules to greatly shorten environmental reviews of pipelines and other major projects, arguing that “radical groups” are exploiting the reviews to block proposals vital to Canada’s economic future.

EthicalOil, a pro-pipeline lobby group, has charged that “foreign billionaires” are helping finance local environmental organizations such as the Alberta-based Pembina Institute and B.C.’s Ecojustice to influence the outcome of the hearings.

Some credit for getting this issue on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s radar should probably go to one of Vancouver Island’s most respected municipal legends, Port McNeill Mayor Gerry Furney.

He wrote the PM last year to complain about the “vast amounts of money being transferred by U.S. foundations to anti-industry Canadian foundations for distribution to activist groups.”

“I believe that a review should be undertaken of all these organizations that claim to be ‘charitable’ to ensure that they meet the stringent ‘charitable’ requirements of our government. If they do not meet the charitable standard that we expect, then their tax-free status should be rescinded. Is this possible?” Furney wrote.

Some of the best research on the big bucks behind B.C.’s eco-battles is being done by Vivian Krause, a Vancouver-based independent researcher who investigates the environmental movement’s lobbying efforts in Canada and its funding sources.

She calculates that over the past decade U.S. foundations have pumped $300 million into the environmental movement in Canada. Currently, she says, U.S. oil-backed foundations are funding Canadian environmentalists to the tune of $50 million a year.

One of the biggest Yankee foundations dedicated to poisoning Canada’s well is the Pew Charitable Trust. In its annual report for 2011, Pew reports that it has $4.9 billion in assets that originated from the founders of Sun Oil, a U.S. company. Since 2000 it has budgeted $44 million to protect Canada’s boreal forests which are home to some of the world’s largest deposits of energy and minerals. Pew has also given $15 million for marine research to Dr. Daniel Pauly at the University of British Columbia.

A successful campaign against the pipeline and oil tanker traffic on the north coast will mean that Alberta’s oil will remain landlocked and the Americans will continue to enjoy virtual monopoly control over our oil exports.

And, they, not us, will be laughing all the way to the bank. M

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Friends, family suprise Current Swell singer and new wife with socially distant wedding

‘We just thought we were going over there to have a glass of champagne and do some paperwork’

Victoria art gallery provides Open Space in an online way

View Chantal Gibson’s recent show on the web, hear Indigenous stories on Instagram starting Sunday

Victoria brewery throws support behind still-operating restaurants

Vancouver Island Brewing initiates #TakeOutTuesday to keep local eateries in the public eye

LIVE MUSIC: Artist in Residence reaching into the community

Kathryn Calder to perform livestream show on YouTube channel this Friday, April 3

Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

Jazz singer to perform ‘Hymn to Freedom’ with Italian lyrics on Facebook at 2 p.m. Monday

After 37 years, Campbell River Arts Council annual members’ show goes online

38th Annual Members Show shifted from physical gallery to website

COVID-19: Vancouver Island man forges hearts for his community

Dave Kasprick has already given out approximately 400, plans to make it 600

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Vancouver Island musicians in quarantine thank neighbours with backyard performance

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra director Karl Rainer and his sons play for those in self-isolation

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxophonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Campbell River journalist launches Isolationpalooza II

Featuring all local musicians, a volunteer virtual concert, of sorts

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Most Read