On the question of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, many of us along the route through British Columbia frequently ask this question: why do Albertans themselves not want to refine the crude?
Northern Gateway would take the bitumen to the coast, from where it would be shipped to China and elsewhere to be refined. We do not understand why Alberta would not build a refinery, or several, to benefit from the jobs and expanded economy that would result. It makes no sense.
After refinement, the product could still be piped to the coast or wherever, but in the meantime, Alberta and the rest of the country would have profited from the local refinement. Moreover, we would not have to re-import, at extra cost, what was shipped out to be refined.
We hope that Albertans are able to profit fully from the extraordinary wealth in the oil sands. As it is, to ship the bitumen out of the province and the country for refinement looks like a bad deal for Alberta and for Canada.
Dr. David Heinimann