U of Calgary reports says exporting oil through west coast will bring billions, but no info on environmental costs


A report issued by the University of Calgary School of Public Policy says if Canadian heavy oil is piped to the west coast and then shipped to Asia and possibly California, that could add $131-billion US to the Canadian economy between 2016 and 2030.

The report suggests it offers solid numbers in favour of pipeline construction to government and industry. For example it says 649,000 person years of jobs could be added to the Canadian economy over the next few years.

The report is based on differentials on oil prices in various world markets and while the final figures are not certain, the overall tone of the report is optimistic.

There is one flaw in the report. There is no consideration whatsoever by the Calgary economists of the costs of a pipeline breach, major or minor, in the wilderness of northwestern British Columbia nor the cost of a tanker disaster on the west coast. That just does not just include the costs of an extended cleanup of a spill, it also doesn’t consider the costs to the fishery and tourism industries by any such disaster. There is no estimation of the costs to the overall business and the economy of any community affected by any spill.  Nor is there any consideration of the long term effects on the environment itself of any such accident.

Read the report here. University of Calgary report on oil exports (pdf)

Related Globe and Mail Blocking pipelines to B.C. would entail loss of billions: study