Domestic Oil Refining
This motion complements existing energy policies G08-p066, G08-136, G08-p126 and G08-p166. This motion provides a specific mechanism to support the aforementioned policies. The motion is also complementary to motion GPCR_50 which modifies current policy GP12-p26. For consistency and to avoid any contradictions, motions G14-P50 and G14-P26 would both need to pass.
Current Green Party policy GP12-p26 currently calls for limits on tar sands development. It is unclear if this motion would contradict the current Green Party policy for a moratorium on further tar sand development, and if limiting tar sands development would eliminate the economic case for adopting this motion.
The effects of this motion on international relations and current trade agreements (NAFTA, Free trade deal with Europe, etc.) also will have be carefully evaluated. Although it should be noted that the Green Party currently supports a re-negotiation of NAFTA and any other bi-lateral trade agreements to ensure Canada’s energy sovereignty. It may not be possible to impose the regulatory barriers in this motion without first re-negotiating current bilateral trade agreements.
This motion also contradicts newly proposed motions: G14-P46 and G14-P47, and may be problematic with G14-P48, G14-P37, G14-P41.
WHEREAS thoughtful Green Party policy on the petroleum industry is important because we are dependent on it for now, it is a nationally important issue and it serves as an opportunity for Greens to showcase our values;
AND WHEREAS adding value to raw materials such as bitumen prior to export would benefit Canadian economic productivity;
AND WHEREAS the jurisdiction to govern and collect royalties on petroleum production rests with the provinces although the federal government has authority over the transportation of petroleum products across provincial borders;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT regulatory barriers to the export of unrefined petroleum products be introduced;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT economic incentives to promote the domestic refining of petroleum be introduced.
It may come as a surprise to people from other parts of Canada, but the majority of westerners feel that they do not benefit appropriately from the petroleum industry that rages on in their backyards. The provinces fail to collect fair resource royalties and pipelines have been proposed to export unrefined bitumen to the United States and Asia. To those Greens concerned about riling voters in energy-rich provinces, I assure you that pro-industry governments and petroleum industry associations have been drowning out the majority opinion in western Canada. I believe that the Green Party has an opportunity to strike a chord with westerners and at the same time advance a sound economic argument relating to the oil industry.
The controversial Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines were both conceived to increase Canada’s capacity to export unrefined Athabasca tar sands bitumen, of which a large and growing supply has been established and is in demand of a market. However exporting a raw product amounts to a lost opportunity to add value and thereby contribute to domestic economic productivity. By preferring domestic refining over the export of raw products, the Green Party can promote the economic advantage of a value-added export product and at the same time undermine the case for those pipelines.