Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Is Human Nature That Forgetful? (Edmonton Journal OpEd)


Old questions linger about wisdom of project

The National Energy Board hearings into the proposed $5.5-billion Gateway pipeline project take me back to my early career days in the Canadian oilpatch.
From 1979 to 1986 I worked for the Northern Pipeline Agency, Petro-Canada (remember when Canada had its own national oil company?) and the Polar Gas Project, which was the second attempt at building the Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline.
My earnest efforts notwithstanding, this project still languishes some 35 years after the publication of Thomas Berger's Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland: the Report of the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry (1977).
During the early part of my tenure with Petro-Canada I also co-ordinated the community information sessions on B.C.'s northwest coast to explain the company's desire to establish an offshore drilling pro-gram in the waters ringing Haida Gwaii. That unforgiving work took a small band of us several months as we tried to hold public meetings in all of the regional First Nations com-munities and the larger centres such as Terrace and Prince Rupert.

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