It's a tough total to tabulate. But it's not hard to start. Let's start at $1.3 trillion.
Seems like a hefty price tag, doesn't it? After all, it isn't as if Greenpeace is that important. At least not anymore. But just consider how expensive it could be if Greenpeace -- and Hudema -- were to get their way.
To start with, let's take Hudema at his word that the goal of Greenpeace Canada is not to shut down the oilsands entirely. (I've personally sat next to Hudema and seen him indicate that is own position is very much to shut down the oilsands, but let's take him at his word nonetheless.) Let's take him at his word that Greenpeace merely wants the oilsands to be operated in a way that is environmentally sustainable.
You would expect that he would be satisfied with the results of a US State Department study that determines that the Keystone XL pipeline would not negatively affect the environment, and that it would not spur drastic expansion of oilsands development. Right? Wrong.
"One of the major weaknesses of this report is that it assumes that building this pipeline will have no impact on tar sands expansion because the oil will magically get to market some other way. The truth is that we have a choice," Hudema declared. "We can spend billions to build this pipeline and the new tar sands mines required to fill it or we can invest those dollars in solutions that end our addiction to oil, improve the health of our communities and stop climate change."
Apparently, Hudema managed to overlook a recent study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute that determined that, should Keystone XL and other export pipelines -- including the Northern Gateway pipeline and the Kinder-Morgan pipeline -- Canada would miss out on $1.3 trillion in Gross Domestic Product, and $276 billion in royalties over the next 20 years. This is due not only to the volume of Canadian oil that sits unsold due to lack of market access, but also due to the discount of Canadian oil... again due to lack of market access.
It's already costing Canada to the tune of $50 million a day.
If Mike Hudema and his cohorts get their way, this will not only continue, but get worse. The cabal of environmental groups opposing the oilsands have frequently declared that their goal is to keep the oilsands landlocked.
$1.3 trillion is an awfully steep price for Canada to pay just for Mike Hudema and company to get their way. Hopefully that won't happen.