GOLDSTEIN: Elect Trudeau? No more pipelines

One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s star Liberal candidates — prominent Quebec environmental activist Steven Guilbeault — says it’s unlikely Canada will ever build another pipeline under legislation passed by Trudeau’s government.

In acknowledging this to the National Post’s Jesse Snyder, Guilbeault — recruited to run by senior Trudeau strategist and fellow environmental activist Gerald Butts — committed a classic political gaffe.

That is, Guilbeault, who has history of engaging in civil disobedience at climate change protests, accidentally told the truth.

Trudeau’s official position is that his Bill C-69, which expands and complicates the already Byzantine process for reviewing and approving pipelines in Canada, won’t interfere with the construction of new pipelines.

At least beyond the one pipeline Trudeau bought — Trans Mountain — in a bid to get that long-delayed project, which is still stalled, moving again.

Global demand for oil rose 1.3% last year, according to the International Energy Agency, while the demand for natural gas — another of Canada’s major resources — rose 4.6%, up from 3% in 2017, and three times the average annual growth rate of 1.5% over the past five years.

One of the major reasons is that natural gas is increasingly being used to replace coal-fired electricity, which also addresses climate change because natural gas burns at half the carbon intensity of coal.

A logical energy policy for Canada would be to use the increased profits from the international sale of our oil and gas resources that would come with building more pipeline capacity, to fund the expensive transition to a low carbon economy.

Trudeau himself has made that argument.

The problem is his climate change and energy policies are doing almost nothing to achieve it.