PBS pop science figure Bill Nye joined Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa Tuesday to tell Canadians that oil pipelines “in the big picture” are bad. He refused to refer to the Alberta “oil sands” — a petroleum-rich deposit that attracts environmental protesters— but insisted on saying “tar sands.”
Nye was at the University of Ottawa with Trudeau to discuss science initiatives in Canada’s federal budget, which was unveiled a week ago. The pair got to talking about the Kinder Morgan Trans Canada pipeline that will transport petroleum from Edmonton, Alberta to Vancouver, B.C. — if it is ever finished. The coalition government of B.C., composed of left-wing New Democrats and one member of the Green Party, opposes the pipeline.
“Tell us about the Morgan Kinder pipeline,” Nye said, before being corrected by Trudeau that it was the “Kinder Morgan” pipeline.
“There are people who love the fact that we have national price on carbon but really wish we weren’t approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline. There are other people…who really like the idea that we’re building that pipeline but really hate the idea that we’re bringing in a national price on carbon,” Trudeau said, suggesting that political leaders can’t please everyone.
Referring to a study from the “Solutions Project,” Nye suggested Canada didn’t need to use fossil fuels at all and could run its entire economy on renewable energy. Even Trudeau coudn’t agree with that and said that Canada intends upon using oil for the foreseeable future.
“We are going to have a transition phase while we develop alternatives to fossil fuels,” Trudeau said, explaining to Nye that in the meantime “we still need to be able to power our homes, our cars, our economy.”
”It’s your country, Canada’s going to do what it’s going to do,” Nye said, as he dissed American environmental policy as out of synch with the world.