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I am a member of Unifor which is the largest private sector union in Canada representing over 300,000

workers.

Unifor is opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline, the Kinder Morgan expansion, and all other

pipeline projects which would export bitumen to refineries outside Canada. The primary reason for this

is that these projects do not create jobs and are inconsistent with Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction

commitments. Unifor is calling for a National Energy Strategy that includes “binding and ambitious

greenhouse gas emissions targets”, and an “ambitious green energy investment plan. I personally

believe that there is also a growing awareness within the labour movement that “there are no jobs on a

dead planet” , and that we have to radically change our economies and reduce our dependence on

fossil fuels.

The trend in Canada is increasing extraction of fossil fuels, and decreasing refining of those fuels here at

home as diluted bitumen is exported to cheaper labour markets. This is sadly similar to what has

happened in the BC forestry industry where raw log exports have increased from under 200,000 cubic

metres in 1997 to well over 6.5 million cubic metres in 2013. As we have seen in Canada recently,

dependence on a few commodities and a lack of value added industry can wreak havoc on an economy

and create trade imbalances, currency instability, and harmful boom and bust cycles. In the year 2015

Alberta will have a deficit of 5 billion dollars to show for the shameful destruction of the land, and the

pollution of the air and water it has allowed to occur.

Kinder Morgan has claimed that its expansion project will create 36,000 (mostly temporary) person

years of employment, but this claim has been disputed by a report by the Simon Fraser University's

Centre for Public Policy which says it is only 12,000 at most. The report also says that BC will receive

only 2% of the economic benefit of the pipeline, and that Kinder Morgan has vastly underestimated the

costs of a spill. In fact the pipeline may endanger jobs at the Chevron refinery in Burnaby where 300

Unifor members work, and may even force the refinery to close. On the bright side Kinder Morgan

recently told the NEB that a pipeline spill would create jobs and beneficial economic activity.

Economist Robyn Allen has projected that significantly increasing diluted bitumen exports may actually

increase gas prices in Canada as the price difference between tar sands oil and conventional crude

decreases, and as Canadian refineries are starved of crude to refine. Robyn Allen has also studied Kinder

Morgan’s history of tax avoidance. She estimates that Kinder Morgan Canada pays an average of 1.5

million per year in taxes in Canada while exporting 172 million a year to its foreign share holders.

Richard Kinder, William Morgan, and many other executives at Kinder Morgan came from the infamous

Enron which cheated its way to collapse in 2001 taking many employees, investors, and customers with

it. Besides falsely inflating profits, Enron was masterful at avoiding taxes while making its executives

very rich. Richard Kinder is one of the 50 richest billionaires in the US, and has used his money to help

friendly politicians such as George W Bush. Bloomberg reported that Richard Kinder received an 800

million dollar payout from Kinder Morgan on one restructuring deal in 2014. In that same year Kinder

Morgan Canada refused to pay the policing costs of the injunction when citizens tried to protect

Burnaby Mountain.

 
 
 

Economist Robert Polin writes in the Global Green Growth Report that committing 1.5% of GDP

worldwide every year to renewable energy and energy efficiency projects would be enough to avert

climate disaster while The International Monetary Fund estimated that in 2014 Canada gave 34 Billion

dollars or about 1.8% of GDP in subsidies to oil companies in the form of direct subsidies and

uncollected taxes on externalized costs. The IMF also estimated that subsidies to oil companies

worldwide amounted to about .7% of GDP or 2% of government revenues. The problem is not

unsolvable. We need to stop subsidizing fossil fuel extraction, and invest in green technologies and

green jobs.

So how many jobs do we get for our subsidies to multinational oil companies? Green Jobs BC says there

are 1.91 jobs per million dollars invested in oil and gas extraction. Clean technology manufacturing and

R&D create between 6 and 14 jobs per million invested. Construction and repair of energy efficient

buildings create between 10 and 18 jobs per million invested. By dropping oil company subsidies ,

putting a price on carbon, capping emissions, investing in solar, wind, and other clean power, and by

building and retrofitting lower emission efficient buildings we could meet emissions targets and avoid

runaway global warming. Retrofitting existing buildings to be energy efficient can also pay for itself in

3 years while creating jobs good local jobs. The transition to a green economy pays ongoing dividends

providing cheaper cleaner energy over the long term while decreasing costs through efficiency. In this

way we will no longer be forced to search for diminishing reserves of dirty fuels that become harder and

harder to find and extract.

A report by the journal Nature this year said that 82% of known coal reserves must not be burned and

that almost all of the Canadian Tar sands must be left in the ground if the world is to avoid catastrophe.

The report did not receive much attention in the Canadian corporate media which do a good business in

oil company advertising. Industry and governments in Canada prefer to talk of “world class” projects,

and “best practices” while exploring for new reserves. Canada’s “National Energy Plan” is to dig up as

much bitumen as possible and get it in a pipeline, or on a rail car.

The US Energy Department, and The International Energy Agency say that in the next 20 years under

current trends we will emit twice the amount of CO2 required raise global temperatures by 2 degrees.

At that point feedback loops may occur which could cause exponential climate change beyond our

ability to control. Every year that we allow emissions to increase it becomes less likely that we will be

able to avoid runaway climate change, and the point of no return may be sooner than we think.

Greater Vancouver is one the world’s cities most vulnerable to rising oceans. The World Bank estimates

that the cost of flooding may rise to a trillion dollars a year in this century due to climate change. Every

new report shows ice melting and sea rising faster than was previously thought possible. When cities

and countries around the world are forced to pay the huge costs of trying to adapt to climate change,

companies like BP and Kinder Morgan will not be chipping in. We live in a country with no energy

strategy, and no serious intention of meeting international emissions targets. We have Federal and

Provincial governments that are beholden to powerful multinational corporations who are willing to do

to our planet and climate what they did to the financial system in 2007 in the name of short term profits

and executive bonuses. Enbridge and Kinder Morgan do not care about jobs or the environment, they

care about profits over everything else. We need to elect Governments which are willing to look beyond

the financial quarter and the corporate lobby and transform our economy to one which can sustain life

on the planet. We all need to fight for the survival of future generations .

 

I am a member of Unifor which is the largest private sector union in Canada

representing over 300,000 workers.

Unifor is opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline, the Kinder Morgan expansion, and

all other pipeline projects which would export bitumen to refineries outside Canada.

The primary reason for this is that these projects do not create jobs and are inconsistent

with Canada’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments.

I believe that there is also a growing awareness within the labour movement that “there

are no jobs on a dead planet”, and that we have to radically change our economies and

reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

Unifor is calling for a National Energy Strategy that includes “binding greenhouse gas

emissions targets”, and an “ambitious green energy investment plan.

But without a National Energy Strategy we are extracting more and more bitumen from

the tar sands every year, and every year we refine less and less while we import oil and

condensate from other countries.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline was once a publicly owned asset, and was sold to Kinder

Morgan in 2005. Prior to the sale it supplied enough crude to the Chevron Refinery in

Burnaby with enough product to keep it viable The refinery now has to bring in crude on

rail and trucks at a high cost and greater risk to the public.

We have effectively given companies like Kinder Morgan control over how Canadian

resources are used, and twinning this pipeline will only increase exports of unrefined

bitumen, and it may lead to higher gas prices and endanger refining jobs here in BC.

Richard Kinder, William Morgan, and many other executives at Kinder Morgan came

from the infamous Enron which cheated its way to collapse in 2001 taking many

employees, investors, and customers with it.

Besides falsely inflating profits, Enron was masterful at avoiding taxes while making its

executives very rich.

Bloomberg reported that Richard Kinder received an 800 million dollar payout from

Kinder Morgan on one restructuring deal in 2014. In that same year Kinder Morgan

Canada refused to pay the policing costs of the injunction when citizens tried to protect

Burnaby Mountain.

Now Kinder Morgan claims the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion will create 36,000

person years of employment, but this claim has been disputed by a report by the Simon

Fraser University's Centre for Public Policy which says it is only 12,000 at most. The

report also says that BC will receive only 2% of the economic benefit of the pipeline,

 

and that Kinder Morgan has vastly underestimated the costs of a spill. The company

recently told the NEB that a spill would create economic activity and jobs in BC.

Economist Robyn Allen estimates that Kinder Morgan Canada pays an average of only

1.5 million per year in taxes in Canada while exporting 172 million a year in profits to its

foreign share holders.

While there are jobs and government revenues associated with increased tar sands

extraction, there are also costs. This number is controversial, but the International

Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that in 2014 Canada gave 34 Billion dollars in subsidies

to oil companies in the form of direct subsidies and uncollected taxes on externalized

costs such as pollution.

The Pembina Institute believes that direct federal subsidies given to oil companies may

exceed revenues collected.

So how many jobs do we get for our subsidies to multinational oil companies? Green

Jobs BC says that just under 2 jobs are created for every million dollars invested in oil

and gas extraction.

We can compare this to Clean technology manufacturing and R&D which create

between 6 and 14 jobs per million invested, and Construction and repair of energy

efficient buildings which create between 10 and 20 jobs per million invested.

So green energy and energy efficiency investments can create up to 10 times as many

jobs as fossil fuel extraction investments.

Even with little Federal Government support more people in Canada work in the clean

energy sector than in the tar sands, and the number has increased quite dramatically -

37% in the last 5 years. In that same time period the cost of Solar Energy has fallen by

87%.

It seems that every year we find that climate change is happening faster than scientists

had previously predicted. At the same we are learning that a shift away from fossil fuels

is possible, and that this shift would not hurt economies, but would rather create many

good jobs. Led by Europe, and now even China and the US, the shift is happening, but

in Canada we are being left behind.

Robert Pollin at the University of Massachusetts writes in the Global Green Growth

Report that committing 1.5% of GDP to clean energy development and energy

efficiency projects worldwide every year would be enough to avert climate disaster .

 

In Canada just ending subsidies to oil companies and investing that money in the new

green energy economy would get us a good way down that road.

A recent report in the Guardian said that Europe’s pledge to cut emissions by 40

per cent by 2030 from 1990 levels, will create 70,000 new full-time jobs, save 33

billion Euros in fossil fuel imports and prevent around 6,000 deaths from pollution,

The same report stated that if Europe ups its emissions reduction to 55 per cent

Europe would create 420,000 new full time jobs, $173 billion in fuel savings and

save 46,000 lives.

Limiting the planet’s temperature increase to only two degrees Celsius — the

report said — would save more than a million lives in China and create nearly 2

million new jobs.

Dependence on a few commodities and a lack of value added industry can wreak

havoc on an economy, create trade imbalances, currency instability, and harmful boom

and bust cycles.

This year Alberta will have a deficit of 5 billion dollars to show for the scar on the earth

that can be seen from space and the federal government is unable to put together a

budget on time because we have given over our economy to international forces

beyond our control.

Because of ridiculously low royalties charged for oil extraction Canada and Alberta have

put aside very little to clean up tar sands pollution, or to use to transition once these

finite resources are gone.

A recent report from CIBC said that job quality in Canada is at its lowest point in 25

years.

Wages have been flat in Canada since 1980 while corporate profits have increased

dramatically.

The current labour participation rate is the lowest it has been since 2000, and the youth

unemployment rate is over 13%.

Ontario has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 10 years, and about half of

those job losses are believed to be due to the high Canadian dollar which now moves in

tandem with fluctuating oil prices.

If this is what big oil is doing for our economy, we need to try something else.

 

We really need to think hard about how we develop the tar sands, and we really need a

National Energy Strategy.