Canada's largest union of energy workers has filed for intervener status in National Energy Board hearings into the Alberta Clipper oil pipeline project application which, if approved, would see up to 800,000 barrels of crude oil, primarily bitumen or heavy crude, shipped out of the country daily to the United States.
"We want the NEB and the Government of Canada to stop looking at the development of our energy resources, and particularly the Alberta tar sands, in isolation of the broader economic, social and environmental good of the country," said Dave Coles, president of the 150,000-member Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.
"The Alberta Clipper project, combined with the Keystone Pipeline project and others, will see literally millions of barrels of bitumen shipped to the United States with minimal economic benefit for Canada," Coles added.
CEP has been vigorously opposing the Keystone Project, with a potential capacity of 400,000 barrels per day, before the NEB on the grounds that it jeopardizes the broad public good by exporting unprocessed resources at the expense of Canadian employment, energy supply and national sovereignty. The NEB is scheduled to render a decision on Keystone in August.
"We see the issues before the Board in the Alberta Clipper application as identical to those we raised during the Keystone hearings," Coles added. "Our intent is to continue to fight for development of Canadian resources for the good of Canada as a whole. Studies we have done show that some 18,000 new jobs would be created if the oil slated to be pumped into the U.S. via Keystone were processed and refined here in Canada."
CEP contends that least an equal number of additional new jobs could be forecast if the Alberta Clipper oil were refined in Canada. The application before the NEB is for a new 1,607-km pipeline from Hardesty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, where most of the flow would end up.
CEP members in the energy sector work in every region of Canada ranging from exploration in Fort McMurray, Alberta to the Hibernia oil fields offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador.