Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Commentary: The Montreal Gazette

Tar-Sands Pipeline Will Undo Quebec's Work On Environment

Quebec was one of the first provinces to show leadership on tackling global warming. It is now pursuing more efficient vehicles, has a carbon tax at the fuel wholesale level, and is joining other jurisdictions in a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse-gas emissions.

It's a shame that this progress is being undone by the tar sands.

The tar sands are already holding Quebec and the rest of Canada hostage on global warming, and now for the first time Quebecers will be asked to aid and abet the hostage-takers by routing tar sands oil into and through Quebec.

It's called the Trailbreaker project - a proposal by the pipeline giant Enbridge to reverse the flow of an oil pipeline running from Sarnia to Montreal to give Quebec refineries access to tar sands oil, and to ship oil to Portland, Me. for refining elsewhere.

Look no farther than the tar sands to explain why Ottawa's global-warming policies are so scandalously weak and why our government has attempted to undermine international climate negotiations. Ottawa's so-called "intensity"system of reducing emissions per unit of production while letting overall emissions explode with production increases was designed specifically to let tar-sands production expand.

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