By Colby Cosh - Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 0 Comments
Enbridge makes a case for pipelines from Alberta to the Pacific Rim
The UC Berkeley economist Brad DeLong has said that Deng Xiaoping may have been “quite possibly the greatest human hero of the 20th century.” It’s a tough-minded, utilitarian judgment; DeLong knows that Deng, as leader of China, ordered the Tiananmen massacre of 1989. In the other pan of the balance, however, is the successful transformation of China into a free-market industrial power. That transformation, over three decades of Deng’s leadership, multiplied per-capita GDP 50-fold and lifted somewhere between 200 million and 400 million people out of poverty.
The revolution is still ongoing, and it runs on oil. Enter Canada. Hearings into Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would link the town of Bruderheim, Alta., to the Pacific Rim at Kitimat, B.C., are being held now in Alberta and will soon shift to British Columbia. The B.C. phase of the hearings will see Enbridge challenged on whether it can successfully protect B.C. wildlands and the port of Kitimat from environmental disasters like the spill that affected the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010.
But in Edmonton, the topic of discussion has been the basic economic rationale for the pipeline. Put in its simplest form: China needs oil, and Canada’s got it. In truth, however, that pretext could be stood on its head. Canada needs alternative markets for its oil, and China is the obvious one. Right now, the oil sands are more or less forced to take a U.S. Midwest price for their product. With the sudden reflation of U.S. oil reserves, Alberta has been getting an increasingly raw deal. Enbridge consultant Neil Earnest explained to hearing attendees at a Holiday Inn in south Edmonton that it costs about $7 in pipeline tolls to move a barrel of Western Canada Select crude to the Gulf of Mexico. “But the price [of WCS] today at Edmonton is not the Gulf Coast price minus $7,” he explained. Owing to the huge oversupply of crude in the U.S., “it’s the Gulf Coast price minus $30.”
By Andrew Leach - Monday, November 21, 2011 at 4:20 PM - 47 Comments
Washington’s decision to temporarily shelve the Keystone XL project has Canadian companies rushing to redraw the pipeline map. Enbridge announced plans to reverse the direction in which crude oil flows in the Seaway pipeline connecting Oklahoma to Texas in order to send more oil from Midwestern refineries to those on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Keystone godfather TransCanada, on the other hand, wants to start building the southern leg of the pipeline, also linking Oklahoma to Texas. Both projects aim to reduce the pressure on a bottleneck of crude in the U.S. Midwest that’s been building up for a year. Why are Canada’s majors so eager to build pipelines to the Gulf? Andrew Leach, a professor of natural resources, energy, and environment at the University of Alberta’s Alberta School of Business, explains.
Why is there a buildup of crude oil, including Canadian crude, at refineries in the U.S. Midwest?
It’s a simple case of supply and demand in a local market. We’re often told the market for oil is global, but in truth it’s more of an integrated web of regional markets and the U.S. Midwest is one of those regions (in the graphs, you’ll see it referred to as PADD 2). This regional market has pipelines running both in and out of it, and oil is used by refineries within the region to produce gasoline, diesel fuel and other products. There are essentially two ways in which crude oil gets out of the Midwest–either it’s refined or it’s transported to another region by pipeline, rail, barge, or truck. On the demand side, use of crude oil by Midwest refineries has been decreasing since the year 2000, as shown in the figure below: Continue…
By macleans.ca - Monday, June 14, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 3 Comments
Our second annual survey of companies in Canada that prove it pays to have a conscience
For many successful companies, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer just a boardroom buzzword, but a key to business. So, for the second year in a row, Maclean’s has partnered with Jantzi-Sustainalytics, a global leader in sustainability analysis, to present the country’s Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations.
While the reasons each company was selected vary—from Gildan Activewear donating more than half a million dollars to Haitian relief efforts, to Loblaw’s commitment to acquiring all of its seafood from sustainable sources by 2013, to Nike making World Cup jerseys for nine national teams out of bottles found in landfills—the underlying goal is the same: make the world a better place. As well as the Top 50 list, which begins on page 42, we look into how CSR might help with major PR problems, like BP’s oil spill, and whether the recession made the business world any less socially responsible.
By macleans.ca - Monday, June 14, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 28 Comments
These companies have made doing good a big part of their business
Click on a company name for more details:
Ballard Power Systems Inc.
BMO Bank of Montreal
Brookfield Properties Corp.
General Mills Inc.
Gildan Activewear Inc.
H.J. Heinz Company
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kinross Gold Corp.
Loblaw Companies Ltd.
Nexen Inc. .
State Street Corp.
Sun Life Financial
Suncor Energy Inc.
Talisman Energy Inc.
TD Bank Financial Group
Westport Innovations Inc.
For the related article and methodology, The Jantzi-Maclean’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2010 click here.