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What's the rush?

Why are we in such a rush to make this tar sands pipeline?

I have followed, through the media, the development of the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposed project from the beginning.

A major deficiency of the reports that I have reviewed is any serious discussion of alternatives, including a recognition that the oil sands are not going away and can be developed over time to meet market demands in the future.

I can accept that it is in Canada’s best interests to diversify our energy markets away from the United States.

Being dependent on a single customer is not a good strategy for any business. But that being said, what is the hurry?

Naturally the investors in oil sands production and Enbridge want early returns, but their interests must not be the sole determinant of method or timing.

David Anderson’s suggestion of rail delivery to port in Prince Rupert is certainly worth some serious study. Has this been done?

How about investing in upgrading and refining capabilities in Canada, particularly Alberta, keeping those jobs in Canada and exporting finished or semi-finished products? Typically, distillates can be shipped by pipeline and tanker with much less environmental risk than the bitumen produced directly from the oil sands.

I believe Canadians, and in particular British Columbians, are entitled to an unbiased evaluation of the many available alternatives to the Northern Gateway proposal.

Clifford M. Stone