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The Fight for Trans Mountain is Not Over

Cody Battershill

Let’s be absolutely clear about one energy fact: as of this writing, the battle over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project (TMX) is far from over.

The federal government decision, in late May, to buy the project from Kinder Morgan should help get things back on track, but it’s sad it came to this and many obstacles still remain.

Until at least early June, B.C. Premier John Horgan continued to signal he’d stick with his campaign to defeat TMX, and thus ignore the nation’s interests while catering to green activists and their foreign donors.

Let’s hope all that has changed by the time this column runs. Horgan’s B.C., nor any other province in the country, can support indefinitely a giant U.S. discount on Canadian oil, forced on us by the U.S. because of our lack of competitive global market access.

In other words, how is it reasonable that any nation should continue to forgo $40 million per day (according to Scotiabank estimates) in unrealized revenues? The answer is: it’s not.

Consider that global oil demand is growing at its fastest pace since the early 1970s. As a consequence, society is faced with a double whammy: the world has to bring on stream more than three million barrels per day of new production – and that’s just to replace depletion. It also has to account for new demand.

So, while Canada remains a global sustainability leader, environmental activists continue to ignore that leadership, and instead focus on attacking various misconceptions about the sector.

It’s no surprise some two dozen executives and investors wrote Premier Horgan recently to express concern that the province’s vow to block the pipeline could result in huge setbacks to Canada’s climate plans.

As TMX gains public support and maintains solid indigenous backing, I wanted to thank the hundreds of thousands of supporters who have spoken in favour of this crucial infrastructure. I know there are many who may question the level of public investment in the new arrangement. Fair enough.

But one way or another, we need this project to be built if we’re going to access international markets. I know it. You know it. Environmental activists know it.

That’s why it’s clear to me this fight is far from over.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary Realtor and founder/spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.