Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline to Canada's Pacific Coast could cost thousands of high-paying refining jobs in Alberta, a labour group warned in Edmonton on Tuesday as the company faced its first day of grilling at public hearings into the contentious project.
Alberta Federation of Labour contends the $6-billion line, which would ship 525,000 barrels a day of oil-sands- derived crude to tankers bound for Asia, would mean 5% less refinery throughput at home and the loss of 8,000 jobs.
Enbridge and the oil industry say it would open up lucrative new markets for growing volumes of Canadian crude in regions overseas where the producers can escape the deep price discounts their oil now sees in the North American market.
"China is in the midst of a building boom in terms of refineries and refining capacity, so our fear is that if our policymakers allow this pipeline to be built we'll end up in a situation where our own homegrown refineries are no longer economic and they'll close down," federation president Gil McGowan said during a break in the hearings.
"We'll end up in a situation where we're sending our raw bitumen oil to China and then buying back the refined product."...
Job Market Monitor, Wednesday September 5, 2012