FP Letters to the Editor: Take off your ‘oil’ hat


Re: “A war on green ‘radicals,’ ” Terence Corcoran, and open letter by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, both Jan. 10

Alas — your comments regarding the war on green “radicals” simply reflects an inherent bias and lack of an objective perspective on the whole Northern Gateway pipeline issue. Be honest: This is nothing more than a poorly veiled attempt to push the focus away from the key environmental concerns associated with the pipeline project and onto a suspect diversionary issue called foreign interference and funding. Ignoring the huge “foreign” funding that originates from offshore oil interests simply enforces the obvious conclusion that these folks (and our most noble Alberta politicians) are getting nervous and desperate — they need a “home run” on this one.

Anyway, it seems our collective memories are rather short — have you forgotten the recent Gulf of Mexico/BP fiasco or the Exxon Valdez mess from 1989? Even with the most stringent and diligent construction, maintenance and reactionary protocols, eventually an oil spill will occur. The B.C. coast is a navigational challenge at best and with the rugged terrain, weather conditions, seismic instability, etc., any pipeline would be prone to eventual failure.

I have lived all my life on the B.C. coast and have absolutely no desire to see a similar disaster hit my home province. Why should British Columbians carry the bulk of the environmental risk associated with this pipeline? The lion’s share of the economic benefits will remain in Alberta or with offshore corporate entities anyway, so where is the incentive for residents of my home province to accept this?

Please note that I am not against economic development as I have worked in the forest sector since the early 1980s. I consider myself an average British Columbian with bills to pay and a family to raise. What I am against is high-risk (a.k.a. greedy) economic developments that do not serve the needs of the people most affected.

That said, I would kindly ask you to please remove your biased “oil” hat.

M. Leeson, Victoria

The nerve of “radicals” to actually want to slow down powerful oil corporations, all to serve some largely foreign-driven, ideological agenda! First Nations people, campers, birders, fishermen, hunters and other nature lovers, tourism industry people, asthmatics, environmentalists and anti-business types — radicals all!

Joe Oliver doesn’t want to “get rid of” all opposition to the fossil-fuel industry — he just wants to “streamline” it out of existence.

Guys like Joe Oliver are supposed to have free rein to bottle up Canada’s resources and efficiently sell them to the highest bidder, in this case the highest Asian bidders. It’s all part of Alberta’s fresh air, water, natural gas and arboreal forests for gunk exchange. Countries like China are doing such a great time polluting their own environment; why not let them have a go with ours too? First comes oil, next comes water/ Canada would sell her daughter ….

Ron Charach, MD, author of Cowboys and Bleeding Hearts and centrist “radical,” Toronto


It is about time that our government started to protect us from the dishonest and destructive environmental movement. Up to now, governments everywhere have been shamefully helping the greens wage war on our lives, liberty and prosperity with their totalitarian goals and their anti-industrial, anti-human ideology.

Glenn Woiceshyn, Calgary

Thank goodness we’ve finally got a government that has the courage to tell the howling mob of environmental extremists that “enough is enough”.

In addition to the Hollywood know-nothings and U.S. environmental extremist groups, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some Middle Eastern countries and Iran are funding, either directly or indirectly, some of these groups opposing the responsible ­development of our natural resources.

They at least would have self-interest to justify their support instead of the simple-minded “don’t build anything, anywhere”(DBAA) approach of some of the self-appointed American and Canadian protectors of the environment.

I for one am sick and tired of being lectured by ignorant, hypocritical music and movie stars on environmental protection.

Three cheers for Joe Oliver!

Sam Stevens, Oakville, Ont.

It seems more than hypocritical to me that they are saying that “Canada will not allow environmental and other radical groups” to “hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda” — yet this exactly what happened with the Green Act, where “environmental and other radical groups hijacked Ontario’s regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.”

What am I missing?

John Droz Jr., physicist, Morehead City, N.C.

Thank you for giving some light and heat to the radical green agenda. In Australia, the commitment to Kyoto has cost Australian farmers dearly, by means of the locking up of their productive land with no compensation from state governments. The damage done to farmers, their families and entire communities is palpable.

This is a fight worth having, and thank goodness for Stephen Harper’s government.

Ruth Bonnett, Brisbane, Queensland

It’s about time that someone in Stephen Harper’s Cabinet showed a bit of spine in taking on the radical green lobby. They’ve been getting away with flimflamming the public, governments and much of the mainstream media for far too long with unproven assumptions, skewed statistics, junk science and outrageous exaggeration of the risks of resource exploitation.

There is no attempt by the green lobby to search for any middle ground with oil interests; everything is either black or white. They would prefer to end all fossil fuel exploitation and send the world back to some eighteenth century existence where a preponderance of the population was needed to work on farms and where millions died of starvation when the climate turned cold, as it is now on the verge of doing again.

What the greens refuse to acknowledge is that the risks of oil resource extraction have been going down steadily since the 1970s, especially with tanker accidents. Neither will they acknowledge that Norway has been drilling, extracting and processing oil from the North Sea for nearly 40 years and operates a large storage, ship transfer and refining facility at Mongstad on the stormy North Sea coast where oil is delivered by underwater pipelines from as far away as 89 kilometres.

Norwegian oil companies are no stranger to major accidents such as well blowouts and rig sinkings. Clearly, the Norwegian government accepted long ago that the benefits of oil and gas extraction far outweighed the risks of oil spills in the North Sea, along its coast and within its pristine fjords. The green lobby will never accept such risks in allowing the B.C. government to develop a similar facility at Kitimat.

The Harper government should take the next step by disengaging from the IPCC and proposing the disbandment of this corrupt U.N. agency. Then the government should start exposing the fraudulent science behind AGW, which has been a major plank in the green lobby’s pressure to stop oil sands mining.

Bit by bit the government can demonstrate to Canadians that the green lobby’s diatribes are not based on proper scientific grounds and are nothing more than another attempt to delay or end more wealth extraction from our abundant resources to satisfy their Luddite mentality. Furthermore, if any of those green groups are receiving special tax concessions despite being generously funded by foreign foundations, those concessions should be cancelled.

Patrick Carroll, retired meteorologist, Red Deer, Alta.

No way: natives

Re: “No pipeline under any condition: Haisla,” Claudia Cattaneo, Jan. 10

Thank you for your article on Ellis Ross, Chief of the Haisla Nation. It is very enlightening and confirms my feelings that the Northern Gateway pipeline is never going to be a reality.

Mr. Ross appears to be a knowledgeable and articulate representative of his people, with their mind made up. No government is going to ride roughshod over the objections of First Nations in this day and age unless it wants to commit political hara-kiri.

The government may be able to use the foreign-money argument against the environmental opposition to the pipeline, but it won’t fly against the First Nations. If the government is serious about cutting spending, it should cancel the Northern Gateway hearings right now. Then concentrate on helping the already approved and established right of way of Kinder Morgan’s Transmountain pipeline to Vancouver or helping CN rail to ship the oil to Prince Rupert.

Keep up the great work.

Alan Redway, former vice-chair of the northern and aboriginal affairs committee, House of Commons

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