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Trans Mountain Pipeline Approved…Again. What could it mean for municipalities.
The Federal Government has approved the Trans Mountain Pipeline again. Yeah… us Albertan’s are looking forward to driving along the right of way and watching the side boom’s laying the pipe in the trench. Lots of side boom’s, lots of pipe and a big long trench, 1150 km.
During this complicated and lengthy process I’ve been puzzled by contradictions:
We haul oil by truck and generate carbon.
We haul oil by rail and generate carbon.
We’ve been cutting down trees that would absorb carbon and building pipe yards in B.C. to store all the pipe Trans Canada ordered, purchased and paid for from China and India; when the pipeline was initially approved by the Federal Government in 2016. They do not have room to store on ships waiting to unload in port, generating carbon, nor do they have room to pile the pipe up at the docks and incur demurrage.
Once pipelines are in the ground, they stop generating carbon.
Pipeline companies pay significant pipeline tax to municipalities, and railroads, initially built by the government do not pay any type of tax for their right of way.
To put this in perspective, Brazeau County, when I was the reeve in 2014, collected $24,240,579.00 in pipeline tax, it is called “linear”. Brazeau County is .45% the size of Alberta, yes that is .45%. Linear taxes assessed by and paid to municipalities provide many millions to schools, millions to seniors, build and maintain roads, supply water, waste water, parks, recreation, firefighting and disaster services plus many other services our municipalities are tasked with.
Many municipalities that the TMX pipeline will go through have forgone significant annual revenue from the many year delay in getting the pipeline built.
Another contradiction is importing oil from other countries that have no rules about carbon emissions; forcing Canadian producers to sell their oil at a discount, = Less royalties to producing provinces, and “social approval” for Canadians that it is ok not to respect carbon issues on a worldwide scale.
A Shout Out to Municipal Fire Fighters
While travelling in, around and through the Manning, High Level and Steen River fire zones we discovered that the provincial municipalities have a “work share agreement” to provide municipal firefighters to protect structures. Municipal firefighters came from all over Alberta in shifts to help. They did not lose one house in High Level. They kept all the properties on the outer boundaries under sprinklers while the fire burned to the edge of town. WOW, they did an amazing job. The Forest Service was able to focus on what they do best, they worked and continue to work on putting out the fire in the forested areas. Sobering experience driving through the burned areas.
I wanted to see the fire zone so once the roads were opened again, our excuse to travel was to do a waterfalls tour in the NWT. Stayed in Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, and Hay River and found 8 sets of waterfalls. With the main road north closed, the Mackenzie Highway, tourism was definitely affected. https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Mackenzie_Highway
If you look at the above link we stayed at a cabin looking at this bridge, the bridge crosses the Mackenzie River just before Fort Providence. This is the highway to Yellowknife.
We golfed 3 times, saw many groundhogs and a few black bears. Very enjoyable 4 day 3 night trip.
My reading list from June (in order of my preference):
A business partner recommended this book, I loved it and will use it to build a webinar
Took my awhile to read this, complicated and required thought and reflection, probably should read it again to really grasp all of the data and concepts
Something attracted me to this book, it is really well written and a page turner, there were times I needed to put it down and take a break from it, but is still a really good read.