Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Premiers (Inc. Campbell) promote pipelines to Pacific

Premiers promote pipelines to Pacific
Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
June 16, 2010

Premiers of western provinces and territories wrapped up two days of
meetings in Vancouver Wednesday, pledging to strengthen their east-west
pipelines, power lines and rail links for trade to Asia.

Premier Gordon Campbell, who chaired the annual conference, said western
provinces produce 91 per cent of Canada's oil, 94 per cent of its natural
gas, 27 per cent of its hydroelectricity and all of its uranium, plus
growing sources of wind, bioenergy and solar power.

"As an energy powerhouse we have to be able to transport that energy, or
bring that energy to the marketplaces that have it in demand, whether
that's by pipeline, by rail or through transmission lines or other modes
of transportation, we believe it's an appropriate place for us to invest,"
Campbell said.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach echoed Campbell's call for Ottawa to end
duplicated environmental assessments for projects such as proposed oil and
natural gas pipelines to the B.C. coast.

Stelmach was asked about U.S. President Barack Obama's intention to wean
the country off its dependence on oil in the wake of the offshore well
blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, and its implications for continued
development of the Athabaska oil sands.

Stelmach said demand for oil will continue to rise as the world economy
recovers, particularly in India, China, Japan and Korea.

The premiers also agreed to measures to address a shortage of skilled
workers that is expected to grow as baby boomers retire and the economy
recovers. They signed a joint letter calling on Ottawa to eliminate caps
on the provincial immigrant nominee program, to attract people whose
skills are in demand in particular industries.

Campbell said western provinces will also analyze growth areas of
engineering and technology, and cooperate on building post-secondary
programs so they don't duplicate efforts. B.C. has no veterinary school,
but participates in Saskatchewan's instead, and that approach should be
extended to other areas of study, he said.


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