NEWS RELEASE · 16th April 2010
MP Nathan Cullen - Ottawa
Under intense pressure this week from Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, the federal government has promised to block the export of raw oil for processing in countries with lower environmental standards.
In Parliament on Wednesday, Cullen accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of breaking a 2008 campaign promise to prevent the export of unprocessed oil (bitumen) from Alberta oil sands for upgrading offshore to capitalize on looser climate-change rules.
Cullen raised the issue following a bid by Chinese state-controlled Sinopec to export raw Albertan oil and refine it abroad.
“The Prime Minister is breaking his own fundamental promise not to export raw bitumen to countries with lower environmental standards. He is exporting raw resources and Canadian jobs,” Cullen, NDP natural resources critic, charged in the House of Commons.
Yesterday, following continued pressure from Cullen, a government spokesperson stated that they will live up to their promise and intervene to stop such exports.
Cullen vowed to hold Conservatives to their word but suggested the government seems to be contradicting itself in light of its enthusiastic support for Enbridge’s proposed 1,700-kilometre pipeline between the oil sands and Kitimat.
“This pipeline would open up new markets and serve as a major drawing card for Chinese and other prospective Asian investors in the oil sands, all looking to maximize their profits and happy to ship raw oil offshore to do so,” Cullen said.
“Here in the Northwest, we know a thing or two about raw log exports, about how shipping round logs offshore means many fewer jobs for Canadian forest families.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out we can’t go this way with Albertan oil, too,” said Cullen regarding what he terms “the latest crack in the Conservative claim to open, accountable and transparent government.”
Cullen noted his 2010 and 2009 economic riding tours consistently highlighted the importance of curtailing the export of raw resources from the Northwest and
Canada. A focus on the green economy was another key finding.
gettin' it right!
Comment by Gerry on 16th April 2010
Thanks Nathan Cullen. At last somebody with some common sense, this oil should be refined and used to create jobs here in Canada. Plastic is produced from oil, there is a huge potential to develop all kinds of industry here that uses plastics. Oil is used in the production of so many products this country should be booming with all kinds of industries that can be developed related to oil production. We need to develop safe ways to extract and use oil. Oil Companies and the Chinese government are in a rush to get the crude oil out of the ground and off to China and the states to create jobs for their own countries. Look what's happening in the forest industry, all China and the US want are our raw logs to create jobs elsewhere. The Oil Companies and the Forest Companies are so greedy and want their maximum profits now at the expense of our children and grandchildren's futures. Alberta and BC can be booming with all kinds of industry related to these natural resources if we just take the time do develop them safely. we have a natural deep sea port here in Kitimat that can easily handle freighters laden with goods heading off to eastern markets or south to the US. We don't need to risk these mammoth oil tankers edging their way up and down our channel. We can develop more and safer rail traffic between Alberta and ports in BC. While we're at it why are we selling the sand from the Sandhill in Kitimat, why aren't they making cement products here and creating jobs here using that sand. why are companies here in such a rush to sell off our natural resources?