We’re confused?

Editor:
One of your readers wrote in the recent edition of the Houston Today about how some of us might be somewhat confused “these days.” I agree with his assertion that our society is driven by oil. Even the alternate energy possibilities need petroleum products. Wind mill have gearboxes that would require lubricants as do Hydro electric systems. There is very little today that does not have a petroleum component.

Editor:One of your readers wrote in the recent edition of the Houston Today about how some of us might be somewhat confused “these days.” I agree with his assertion that our society is driven by oil. Even the alternate energy possibilities need petroleum products. Wind mill have gearboxes that would require lubricants as do Hydro electric systems. There is very little today that does not have a petroleum component.What  he doesn’t seem to understand is that the Enbridge project has nothing to do with jobs for Canadians. This oil is destined for overseas markets and particularly China. There will be jobs in the construction phase and minimal jobs in operating the pipeline and loading facilities in Kitimat. Constructing a pipeline is done by a highly skilled workforce that specializes in this type of work. Skills not generally available along the pipelines path. Few of the jobs would go the British Columbians in terms of right of way clearing and logging.According to the Canadian Governments own information Canada uses about 1.5 million barrels of oil per day. We produce in the neighbourhood of 3.5 million barrels per day. For the most part these extra barrels of oil are piped to refineries outside of Canada creating no jobs in Canadian refineries and their support industries. Enbridge will in fact be exporting more potential Canadian jobs. I emphasize with the people of Kitimat but the handful of jobs in Kitimat after the construction is finished won’t make a dent in the already bad situation there.Recently I listened to the tail end on a news program on CBC that seems to infer that there may be a movement to ship oil by railroad tanker cars. I hope that prevailing heads would stop this before it gains any traction. The potential for an accident is far too great.Finally the oil companies in Canada enjoy far too much power. Canada has one of the largest oil fields in the world locked up in the Tar Sands in northern Alberta. They produce oil at a very low price per barrel, This oil, at least the percentage that isn’t exported, is then sold to their own refineries at “world prices”. The oil companies then get to make record profit off these sales, these  petroleum products are then sold in Canada at hugely inflated prices. We subsidize their exploration programs, the building of infrastructure such as pipelines and then our government allows them to fleece us. Governments in turn charges us tax  and tax on tax with the purchase of these fuels including necessities  such as home heating oils and propane gas. Even non-elected boards such as Translink get to add tax. We have some of the highest prices anywhere for gasoline and diesel fuel. Big oil has the ability to destroy our economy. Just think about that next time you buy anything as the cost of shipping steadily rises.Ryk van DonselaarSmithers, B.C.

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