The political strategists think they have things lined up.

Trudeau’s announcement of “world-leading” marine safety measures will satisfy B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s insistence on “world-leading” oil spill response.

Approval for the Kinder Morgan pipeline will bring Alberta Premier Rachel Notley onside with a national climate plan and inoculate Trudeau against his father’s fate in “the West.”

In Canadian energy politics “oceans protection” is now code for oilsands pipelines and tanker traffic.

When Justin Trudeau flew to Vancouver to announce a National Oceans Protection Plan, much of the news media dutifully gave the prime minister his good news story.

But it is obvious to everyone following along that he was getting some framing in place before green-lighting Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain pipeline expansion.

We’re through the looking glass into the world of energy politics, where "preserving our coastlines" greases the skids for pipelines and oil tankers.

The ironies go on.

The federal Liberals are expected to approve the oilsands pipeline shortly after Canada’s delegation gets home from beating the drums of climate urgency at the UN’s global warming meeting now getting underway in Morocco.

It's awkwardly reminiscent of 2011 when Peter Kent flew to South Africa to assure the world that Canada cared about climate change, then announced within hours of his return that Canada would pull out of the Kyoto accord.

One of the perennial reasons for hand-wringing at these climate conferences is the extent that governments continue to subsidize fossil fuel industries. The accountants will now have to add a good portion of Trudeau’s National Oceans Protection plan to Canada’s ledger.

A sustainable economy wouldn't need many of the items in the $1.5 billion plan. Trudeau did not provide a financial breakdown but the summary is heavy on programs for oil spill clean-up, mapping oil spill trajectories, predicting behaviour of oil in water, Indigenous community response teams and the like.

Some elements of the plan are certainly welcome. Orcas, belugas and other whales desperately need the new measures announced by the feds and environmental baseline studies are ludicrously overdue.

There’s also no question that we need to improve emergency response and support First Nations as first responders.

Authorities were unable to respond effectively to a spill smack in the middle of Vancouver harbour last year. Response to the ongoing tragedy near Bella Bella has been woeful.

But how much will Canadian taxpayers pick up the bill for the oil industry, and for how long? Kinder Morgan’s pipeline would be in service for decades, relying on a growing fossil fuel economy over the same decades we’ve promised to phase out climate pollution entirely.

The government’s priorities became clear in the Q&A following the prime minister’s announcement. National Observer reporter Elizabeth McSheffrey asked twice about the sequence of events: whether whales would be taken care of before any more impacts were permitted, but Trudeau demurred. Nor did the PM correct reporters making the assumption that Kinder Morgan’s pipeline was as good as approved.

It’s an all-of-the-above energy strategy.

Pipelines, oilsands expansion and fracking will be developed alongside carbon taxes, renewable energy and whale protection in a world where ocean protection comes with more oil tankers.

Sign up for our daily briefing

I'm already signed up.

subject: FW: A WELCOME FIRST STEP....

Great… This coast spill handling proposal is welcomed…
When can we expect our PM to follow up and show the public ,with the promised ‘serious science’ , that that the Kinder Morgan pipeline scheme, as proposed… must be scrapped ….His scientists ,along with risk assessment experts , likely would tell us to find a ‘less risky’ tanker route for the dilbit laden tankers…
More First Nations involvement will help greatly when dealing with incidents like the recent Bella Bella spill…Yes, let’s first deal with this vital, supply service for coastal communities…!
The Aframax or larger vessels should be banned from our many narrow inlets, and passes….and restricted to open ocean locations …NOT Burrard Inlet, or the Salish Sea , or Douglas Channel or the Great Bear rain forest region..
Carl Shalansky, P. Eng. (Retired)
Blog: https://redfern3359.wordpress.com/
(604) 986-4657

ubject: FW: A WELCOME FIRST STEP....

Great… This coast spill handling proposal is welcomed…
When can we expect our PM to follow up and show the public ,with the promised ‘serious science’ , that that the Kinder Morgan pipeline scheme, as proposed… must be scrapped ….His scientists ,along with risk assessment experts , likely would tell us to find a ‘less risky’ tanker route for the dilbit laden tankers…
More First Nations involvement will help greatly when dealing with incidents like the recent Bella Bella spill…Yes, let’s first deal with this vital, supply service for coastal communities…!
The Aframax or larger vessels should be banned from our many narrow inlets, and passes….and restricted to open ocean locations …NOT Burrard Inlet, or the Salish Sea , or Douglas Channel or the Great Bear rain forest region..
Carl Shalansky, P. Eng. (Retired)
Blog: https://redfern3359.wordpress.com/
(604) 986-4657

A part of this "all of the above" energy strategy, particularly as it relates to Kinder Morgan, are the manipulations of the Alberta Government.

Just last week, Bill 25 Oil Sands Emissions Limit Act, was introduced to the legislature, meant to "cap" the carbon emissions of bitumen production at 100 megatonnes. Imitation environmentalists, energy pundits and producers alike, praised the Act, but anyone that can read, will notice the alarming amount of exemptions (upgrading, primary production, co-generation, experimental schemes) and allowances in the Bill. To further, there is the basic fact, that aside from all the loose ends in the Bill and overriding control given the the LGC to change, direct, define or otherwise alter the Act at anytime, the 100 mT cap will not encumber the bitumen emissions business model for a good 15 years to come. I doubt there is anyone that expects this token Act will survive until such time. As soon as a conservative government comes back to reign in Alberta, the "cap" will be scrapped. In the meantime, it will be paraded around, as a means to an end, of pipelines to the East and West coast.

As per the "world-class" federal announcement on spill protection, absolutely, this is just public relations, attempting to cushion the blow of ongoing pipeline project approvals. Notley is already applauding the move.

"Premier Rachel Notley says the federal government’s new marine safety initiative is good news for Alberta in its push for a new pipeline."

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/notley+hails+federal+marine...

"But how much will Canadian taxpayers pick up the bill for the oil industry, and for how long?"

Billions, likely trillions, and perennially.

I have often wondered about how much this has 'driven' Trudeau's actions ... "Approval for the Kinder Morgan pipeline will bring Alberta Premier Rachel Notley onside with a national climate plan and inoculate Trudeau against his father’s fate in “the West.”
However, in my opinion, he is totally missing out on the chance to become an International Climate Hero (given the very clear promises he made in 2015). Instead, he is putting himself in a position to become an International Climate Pariah as it is not only Alberta that is watching him, but the whole world. I often wonder how he will respond to this question from his own child/children, "Daddy, why didn't you DO something when you had the chance to stop the pipelines? You had the chance to make this decision, what were you thinking?"

I'm waiting for the organization that asks us to sign up to 1. deliver that message on the ground and more importantly, 2. provide that answer for our grandchildren.

I do not expect an entitled young success story like Justin to fully 'get it yet'. I am one who knew he wasn't 'ready', but was being groomed for the photo op by every billionaire in the media business, because he's the perfect advertisement for privileged progressives, all of whom want it both ways.

So nice that Canada is 'back'....even nicer if we can be back and continue to jet set anywhere our shrivelled little hearts want to go for the weekend. Those of us who are bored and sickened by our own duplicity have to prepare our own story to tell our own grandkids, when they ask...as they will........'Why did you let it happen."

Personally I want to be able to tell them, with good activist evidence, that I was on the other side.....whatever happens. If Trudeau is to wake up to the reality of what he is leaving his children, what better way to educate him then to force him to deal with thousands of grandparents who have no doubt whatsoever as to what they are going to be able to tell their grandchildren.

We all have power. Now is the time for all of us to use it.

As I understand it, the roughly 1.8 billion he has pledged is for the protection of all our coastal waters? Throw in the east coast and our Arctic shoreline, and this is pennies to combat a problem that in terms of 'on the ground' reality, may be unmonitorable, uncleanupable, and in the final analysis, unnecessary.

We are already experiencing the effects of climate change. On the ground. In Alberta yesterday we had temperatures around 22 degrees centigrade...and there is more to come, as mounting CO2, methane, and simple water vapour push our global climate to temperatures unprecedented for the last few millenia. But while the environment we count on for survival is being pushed toward dangerous new 'normals'....the folks who unwittingly did the damage, can think of nothing now but to double down and grow the fossil fuel industry....? And those of us who think of ourselves as 'progressive' will let them do it, because from some kind of skewed economic model, it might make money????

Who knew when the globalists talked about the 'end of history' that this is what they meant? That we would run with our one idea, our 'funnel to the top wealth creation schemes' and our windigo need for more and more cheap energy.......to the very end of the world.

Our Canadian Pacific North West belongs to all of us. It is one of the most fertile regions left on the planet, and it all depends on those coastal waters. Only slaves or idiots would let either a politician as pretty as Trudeau, or one as ignorant as Donald Trump, trash their food sheds. I can't believe that my friends and neighbours are idiots, so they must be slaves.

What it will take to free us is putting our money where our hearts and souls are. Putting our bodies where our mouths are. As the Pope said: To do nothing now, about climate change, is to commit a sin. If we let those pipelines...and LNG terminals threaten our coastal waters by doing nothing, old fashioned hell is going to seem a benign idea, compared to what the next half century has in store for us.

So how do we hold our well meaning, bad acting new PM to account?? Many of us voted for his rhetoric, how do we insist that translate into real policy to turn back rising CO2??? Because giving the green light to bitumen pipelines, is not transition. Nor will our food sheds and water sheds recover from the dluplicity of talking green and walking tar.

I completely agree. The unmitigated idiocy of continuing to raze forests that all admit are crucial to combat climate change tells the whole story. Over 100 MILLION trees every year in Canada are cut and TURNED INTO WEEKLY FLYERS, that go straight into the bin, or recycling, if we are lucky. Most people never open them. Whatever makes it to recycling is sold - often overseas. Ending paper flyers is a very simple way to save many forests, yet governments are busy subsidizing rich logging corporations. There is a market for recycling all types of lumber, which would save trees, provide jobs, reduce building footprints and keep a huge amount of material out of landfills. Passing bylaws requiring that structurally sound homes be sold and moved rather than demolished for the McMansions would help many buy homes in addition to all the other benefits. The warning from the UN should result in every government changing targets and the public needs to FIGHT until they do. The report about mega dams like Muskrat Falls, Site C, WAC Bennett not being nearly as "green" as thought and emitting 24% more GHGs is also being ignored. The majority would rather rearrange deck chairs in the Titanic as long as they keep bottled water, SUVs, big houses and endless mind-destroying "entertainment" than change anything. It is all a side effect of global overpopulation, yet governments all pretend we need MORE people. Unless the world agrees to negative population growth until we get to a number that allows all the other species to survive as well as humans, all these climate plans are useless. Even one child per family and adopt if you want more would make a vast improvement to the future.

"But how much will Canadian taxpayers pick up the bill for the oil industry, and for how long? "
As long as the government and NEB continue enabling pipeline companies to abrogate their responsibilities (for maintaining secure and safe pipelines, for honouring and respecting landowners' rights, for immediately cleaning up and remediating the myriad lands they have contaminated, and for providing realistic reserve funds for all contingencies), Canadian taxpayers will continue to be unjustifiably saddled with these expenses.
That these companies can run their pipelines roughshod over lands they don't own while greedily making billions annually for only their shareholders, "in the public interest", smacks of bias, collusion and regulatory capture.
Ocean protection is BS.

Today's must read