Mary Scianna, Editor, Shop Metalworking Technology MagazineClick image to enlarge

by Mary Scianna, editor, Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine

Pipelines have been in the news of late and depending on whom you speak with, the news is good or it's bad.

Late last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government approved the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion and the Line 3 Replacement, pipeline projects in BC and Alberta that together are expected to create 22,000 jobs and generate billions. More recently, US President Donald Trump approved the Canada-US Keystone XL oil pipeline deal. If it goes through, the new pipeline will carry more than one fifth of the oil Canada exports to the US, and, notably for the economy of Alberta, it will lead to economic growth and jobs. That's what proponents of the pipeline projects expect to see if these projects get underway.

For those that oppose the pipeline projects, the recent news is not good. Many say any expansion pipelines -- or the oil production industry in general -- will have significant adverse effects on our environment polluting our water, plants and animals. The carbon-intensive production involved in mining oil sands results in greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, oil sands are considered one of the most greenhouse gas intensive fuel sources.

Canada's Federal Government thinks there's a middle ground: continue to develop oil sands in the short term while also developing the renewables industry so that in the future renewables will become the prime energy sources.

On November 30, Prime Minister Trudeau, in making the pipeline announcement stated "I have said many times that there isn’t a country in the world that would find billions of barrels of oil and leave it in the ground while there is a market for it. But it isn’t enough to just use that resource for our short-term interest. Our challenge is to use today’s wealth to create tomorrow’s opportunity. Ultimately, this is about leaving a better country for our kids than the one we inherited from our parents."

Do you think Canada is taking the right approach? Is there a better way to build a stronger economy for the future?

I would welcome your comments. Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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