Shipping bitumen up the Mackenzie? No way!
News/North Guest Column
Co-Chair, NWT Chapter, Council of Canadians
Over the past year, there have been a number of news reports on the possibility of shipping diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands north along the Mackenzie Valley via pipeline to Tuktoyaktuk, where it would then be loaded on tankers for overseas export. This pipeline is being referred to as the Arctic Gateway project.
A study commissioned by the Alberta government and released this past September called this initiative “feasible,” to the apparent delight of our premier, Bob McLeod.
Our Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Dave Ramsay, who is also the regulatory minister for NWT oil and gas development, was recently quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying that “We’re hoping to see the concept expanded upon and moved forward here soon.”
But wait a minute! Isn’t bitumen (also known as asphalt or tar) one of the dirtiest and riskiest forms of fossil fuels on the planet?