CFN – With the Harper Government now proceeding at full throttle to push through the Northern Gateway oil pipeline to supply China, an unexpected crack has appeared within the governing party’s ranks. Calgary West Ultra-Right Conservative MP Rob Anders is publicly questioning the proposal to sell Canadian “Ethical Oil” resources to non-ethical Communist China, despite Ezra Levant’s invention of the ethical oil mantra becoming official government policy.
Earlier this month Sun News Network reported Anders as speaking out against the Chinese takeover of the MacKay River Tar Sands project. Anders condemned the sale of project to China, whom he describes as “the world’s worst human rights abuser.” However, in keeping with government policy, he still considers Tar Sands oil as “ethical”, but describes the Chinese as being an “unethical client.”
Anders, a staunch anti-Communist, vetoed an all-party resolution in the House of Commons to grant Nelson Mandela Honorary Canadian Citizenship, claiming that the South African leader was a Communist and terrorist. He has claimed that the Chinese Government has tried to set up “unattractive male Conservative MPs with hookers”, and has compared the 2010 Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. However, despite his anti-Communist, pro-human rights feelings, Anders stopped short of condemning the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which will export unrefined Tar Sands bitumen crude to China.
In 1994, Anders worked for Far Right Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe as a professional heckler(!) and was labelled a “foreign political saboteur” by CNN. Inhofe is a prominent science denier, who benefits from major campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, and the electric utilities.
Tar Sands Crude Vital for Chinese Economy
The Chinese, as part of their shopping list for worldwide natural resources and energy sources to fuel their economy, recently closed a deal with the Athabasca Oil Sands Corporation. The MacKay River plant currently produces 35,000 bbl of crude bitumen per day, but this is scheduled to increase to 150,000 bbl per day in a four-phase expansion project. As part of the same deal, PetroChina will also be taking over Dover Oil Corporation’s Tar Sands operations at the end of 2012, which will bring the total production under Chinese control to approximately 400,000 bbl per day when the MacKay River expansion reaches completion.
The pipeline, from the Alberta Tar Sands, will cross the Rocky Mountains and Northern BC to a proposed super tanker facility at Kitimat, BC. The pipeline has provoked major criticism from Canadians and people worldwide because of its potential for ecological damage to the area through which it will pass, that it is “dirty oil” insofar has it has an even greater global warming impact than regular crude oil, and for the long-term economic damage it will do to Canada.
Given that the pipeline will have a maximum capacity of 525,000 bbl/day, it will easily be able to transport the entire Chinese portion of total Tar Sands production to China. This will give the Chinese economy a major boost compared to the West – as the Chinese government will take all the profits from the MacKay River and Dover projects, they are, in effect, buying the oil for the cost of production, and not the much higher world price, giving them a major competitive advantage. However, what is not well known is that the Northern Gateway pipeline will be two parallel lines – one transporting the bitumen to Kitimat, the second (with a capacity of 325,000 bbl/day) carrying light natural gas condensates from the coast to the Tar Sands.
Normal Tar Sands bitumen cannot be pumped through a pipeline as it is simply too thick. To make it economically transportable, it must either be upgraded into a lighter, less viscous synthetic crude, which would require refining facilities in Alberta, or it must be thinned out with a much lighter hydrocarbon fluid (a diluent) – hence the second pipeline.
The light natural gas condensates will be imported from Mexico or OPEC sources, and would therefore not fit under Levant’s category of “ethical oil.” Although the Chinese will be paying for the product out of their profits, it further undermines the Canadian economy – profits are reduced, and therefore the already low taxation revenue from PetroChina will also be correspondingly reduced. In addition, the cost of the diluent will reflect in Canada’s overall balance of trade – the difference in the value of what the country sells abroad, compared to what it imports. The pipeline scheme will do nothing to reduce the influence of “non-ethical” OPEC countries on the world’s energy markets.
Stephen Harper announced to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he will make it a “national priority” to export our “energy products” (i.e. Tar Sands Bitumen) to China, and make sure there are no regulatory delays. The Northern Gateway Pipeline is now official government policy regardless of the environmental, economic or human rights consequences.