The Wall Street analyst who labelled Kinder Morgan a "House of Cards" might have had the TV show in mind, but I'm guessing he's also referencing the corporate history involved. You see, Kinder Morgan emerged out of none other than Enron, the infamous energy giant that was tagged as a House of Cards in a book exposing its systemic shenanigans, which among other things tricked its own employees out of their pension funds. Kinder Morgan CEO Richard Kinder is in fact a former Enron executive and almost became its CEO. The Wall Street Journal once called him "the luckiest ex Enron employee" because Jeffrey Skilling, who became the CEO instead of Kinder, is now in the midst of a 24-year prison sentence.
If we connect the dots between all the natural gas, coal and tar sands proposals in B.C., a big picture emerges and the choice we face becomes both stark and clear: B.C. needs a government with leadership and vision to make the hard decisions. The province needs courage to stop building pipelines that would put at risk thousands of jobs and lock us into global warming. We need stewards to protect our collective future wisely, by investing in green jobs and saying yes to a clean energy future.
The U.S. State Department released its long-awaited report on the Keystone XL project last week. Most media focused on the executive summary, but several scenarios in British Columbia are outlined in the full report, even though the province is thousands of kilometres removed from the proposed pipeline.
The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline carrying raw bitumen to the B.C. coast is a bad idea, but it's ultimately the wrong fight. Let's assume the momentum of bringing Enbridge to its knees leads to a mass protest across Canada and all the proposed pipelines are stopped. Oil companies still have other options.
As Canadians, we are well aware that we are sleeping next to an elephant, and that the choices made by the American president have broad implications not only for Canada but for rest of the world. Much to the chagrin of many conscientious Canadians, the implications of a changing climate were off the radar in the American election before Hurricane Sandy swept in. The topic was not raised even once during the 2012 U.S. presidential debates. You would think it would be a no brainer to talk about this issue, given that the United Nations has called climate change "the single biggest threat facing humanity today."