NEWS RELEASE · 16th April 2010
MP Nathan Cullen - Ottawa
Under intense pressure this week from Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, the federal government has promised to block the export of raw oil for processing in countries with lower environmental standards.
In Parliament on Wednesday, Cullen accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of breaking a 2008 campaign promise to prevent the export of unprocessed oil (bitumen) from Alberta oil sands for upgrading offshore to capitalize on looser climate-change rules.
Cullen raised the issue following a bid by Chinese state-controlled Sinopec to export raw Albertan oil and refine it abroad.
“The Prime Minister is breaking his own fundamental promise not to export raw bitumen to countries with lower environmental standards. He is exporting raw resources and Canadian jobs,” Cullen, NDP natural resources critic, charged in the House of Commons.
Yesterday, following continued pressure from Cullen, a government spokesperson stated that they will live up to their promise and intervene to stop such exports.
Cullen vowed to hold Conservatives to their word but suggested the government seems to be contradicting itself in light of its enthusiastic support for Enbridge’s proposed 1,700-kilometre pipeline between the oil sands and Kitimat.
“This pipeline would open up new markets and serve as a major drawing card for Chinese and other prospective Asian investors in the oil sands, all looking to maximize their profits and happy to ship raw oil offshore to do so,” Cullen said.
“Here in the Northwest, we know a thing or two about raw log exports, about how shipping round logs offshore means many fewer jobs for Canadian forest families.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out we can’t go this way with Albertan oil, too,” said Cullen regarding what he terms “the latest crack in the Conservative claim to open, accountable and transparent government.”
Cullen noted his 2010 and 2009 economic riding tours consistently highlighted the importance of curtailing the export of raw resources from the Northwest and
Canada. A focus on the green economy was another key finding.
Comment by Jim Ippel on 16th April 2010
Mr Cullen, you stated we in the Northwest know all about raw log exports, yet you do not name the largest exporter from the Terrace, and surrounding area.
Are afraid to critisize C.T. Resources because they are a Native Company, very successful, and in all probability a great suporter of yours.
On the one hand you critisize the Gov't of the day for allowing the export of raw materials, but refuse to critsize the Natives for doing exactly that.
Please allow me to ask you a very simple and direct question: If a Native Band in Alberta owned the Alberta Oil Sands, would you oppose the export of bitumen to Asian countries, via a pipeline ending in Kitimat? I can'nt make the question any simpler than this, and it requires a very simple "YES" or "NO".
Please take the time, and have the intestinal fortitude to answer the question without a massive amount of political goblygook. I only ask for a yes or no.....................