Fools rush in, where wise men fear to tread
Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau must be terrible poker players.
They showed their hands too early — “This pipeline will be built!” — and Kinder Morgan, no stranger to a game of Texas hold-em, has called their bluff; pay for it yourselves or we’ll walk.
Trans Mountain poses the same unacceptable economic risks to investors as it does to Canadian taxpayers; it will cost over $7 billion to transport heavily polluted, expensive to refine, bitumen to Vancouver to be loaded on small Aframax tankers operating at 50 per cent capacity due to the shallow harbour bottom and the condensate mixed with the cargo.
By contrast, sweet, easily refined oil from fracked shale deposits in the U.S. is pouring into existing pipelines bound for the new deepwater port in Louisiana, there to be loaded onto supertankers three times the size of an Aframax.
America’s sudden shift to becoming a net exporter of cheap oil combined with worldwide investment in solar power, has rendered the tar sands obsolete.
Given that investors won’t touch it, Notley and Trudeau would be prudent to allow the marketplace, not politics, to determine the fate of Trans Mountain.
Only fools rush in, where wise men fear to tread.