PODCAST: The Canadian Oil Industry, Down but Far From Out

Hello, and welcome to the fourth episode of our environmental policy podcast, Parts Per Billion. This is where we chat with reporters and newsmakers to bring you the stories behind our stories.

It may seem like, lately, all the news about the oil industry in Canada has been bad.

Last November, after years of uncertainty, the Obama administration nixed a border crossing for the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the U.S. Then, earlier this month, massive wildfires in the key oil-drilling region of northern Alberta forced more than 80,000 residents out of their homes and temporarily reduced production by roughly 1 million barrels a day. And, on top of all this, the price of crude oil is now around half of what it was just three years ago.

Given all this, you might think the industry would be in full-scale retreat mode. I certainly did—that is, until I spoke with Alan Kovski.

Alan covers energy and natural resources for Bloomberg BNA. He says, despite all the setbacks, there’s actually a lot of activity in Canada, with plans to build several new pipelines that can carry more than three times the amount of oil than Keystone ever would have.

Canadian pipeline expansion

Alan also explains why environmental activists opposed to oil drilling will have a much harder time stopping these new pipelines than they did with Keystone.

You can read more of Alan’s reporting on the energy industry at our blog and in our publication Daily Environment Report. If you liked what you heard in the podcast, sign up for a free trial. And, for those of you already subscribed to Daily Environment Report, check out Alan’s story breaking down the significance of all the proposed Canadian oil pipeline projects.

Follow this blog for upcoming biweekly episodes of Parts Per Billion. You can also subscribe via iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or on SoundCloud.