Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: TransCanada

May
5th

Tar sands oil, $5 billion and the Strait of Juan de Fuca

This editorial will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

In an ideal, green-hued world, stopping the Keystone XL pipeline would accomplish what many of the project’s opponents believe it will accomplish.

The sludgy crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands would stay in the ground because there would be no way to get it to refineries and beyond. Ecosystems would be spared. Much less carbon would be burned, and there would be that much less global warming.

The problem is, that’s among the least likely alternatives to the Keystone project. Among the most likely is that Pacific Northwest waters will be put at a much higher risk of oil spills – a scenario that now has $5 billion behind it. Read more »

Nov.
20th

Canadian oil: Pipe to Texas beats tankers in the Strait

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline: Be careful what you wish for.

Environmentalists have been furiously fighting the plan to pipe Canadian crude oil across the Great Plains from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. The political firestorm has gotten so hot that the Obama administration recently punted the decision to the far side of the presidential election.

Northwesterners ought to be aware of a potential consequence of the project’s failure: That same tar sands oil could wind up getting piped west to Vancouver, B.C. – there to be shipped on supertankers through our very own and very vulnerable Strait of Juan de Fuca. China could then nail down long-term contracts for the Canadian petroleum.

A Houston energy company, Kinder Morgan, would love to do just that if TransCanada Corp. doesn’t get U.S. permission to take the oil south. It already runs a pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver; expanding the line’s capacity would be a tough but doable job.

It is wishful thinking to suppose that Canada wouldn’t be able to bring the petroleum to market if the U.S. route is blocked.

Demand for oil is rising, especially in Asia, and prices are expected to rise, too. Petroleum continues to be a crucial foundation of all industrial economies.
Read more »