Tom Fletcher’s piece “Untangling oil pipeline politics” while definitively outlining the political class’s various nebulous positions on oil and gas pipelines, neglects that all real political power ultimately resides with the people.
Polls have consistently shown that around 80 per cent of the people of BC are opposed to the Northern Gateway dilbit pipeline.
Dilbit being the industry term for tar sand oil, bitumen, diluted with basically gasoline to make the oil flowable, is an environmental tragedy waiting to happen. See Megantic, Quebec.
The people of BC understand that pipeline profits at any cost to people and/or the environment doesn’t add up to make any kind of economic sense.
Much like that one litre bottle of water which takes three and a half litres of water in all aspects of production to produce, the same can be said of the tar sands, taking the equivalent of two and a half barrels of energy to produce one barrel of finished energy product. This is a misallocation of capital.
All this besides the point that Kinder Morgan is a new type of LLC called a “pass through,” a recent innovation allowed by governments.
A “pass through” allows profits to proceed directly to shareholders, as a psuedo legal partnership, by passing the tax man and any personnel liabilities should “stuff” happen.
As it is the average citizen now gives a $118 subsidy per year to such “good corporate citizens” as Kinder Morgan.
Is it any wonder then that the majority of people are opposed to the socialization of the costs of pipelines while the profits proceed unhindered to the owners of pipelines.