A proposed pipeline that would move oil from Canada down to the U.S. Gulf Coast is causing more controversy, and this time a Hollywood actress is speaking out.
Actress Daryl Hannah is calling Alberta’s oilsands an “atrocious environmental travesty”. The 50-year-old was arrested Tuesday in front of the White House during a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Hannah says anyone with a “brain” is discounting a recent U.S. study that says the pipeline will have a minimal impact on the environment.
“No we don’t want to be party to this incredibly destructive path of becoming more dependant on fossil fuels. And to become more dependant on the most dirty of fossil fuels, which is the tarsands fuel,” she said Wednesday.
NDP Leader Brian Mason is also speaking out on the issue, quoting a new U.S. report, he says pumping bitumen south to Texas will send Alberta jobs there as well.
“We are going to be developing the oilsands, we need to have a strategy that puts Albertans first, and not the big oil companies and not American workers.”
But the employment minister doesn’t agree with Mason’s take on the report. Thomas Lukaszuk admits the pipeline will create refinery jobs in the U.S. But here at home, he says our problem is not too few jobs but too many jobs.
He estimates oilsands development will create 100,000 jobs for Albertans over the next five years. And he’s certain we’ll have a difficult time filling all those jobs.
“With baby boomers retiring, with our economy growing, with our natural population growth being almost zero — we will be tapped out of Canadian workers very soon.”
In February, the province announced a new upgrader to be built in Fort Saskatchewan. The minister says that will create 10,000 jobs alone. The premier says that will satisfy the desire to keep Alberta’s oil money in the province.
“We should refine it here. Keep it here it’s ours,” said Albertan David Clare.
No final approval has been announced for the pipeline and it’s not known when a decision will take place. The provincial and federal governments continue to lobby for the pipeline.
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