As I was saying.... the current mindset does not support such an expansion of rail infrastructure in the US.Seems like a waste of money. Oil is cheap right now, and demand for it will decrease over time. I can't imagine the capital costs are worth it with oil at $40 a barrel.
I could tell you the tale, but it would involve a foray into forbidden political discussion. The story is out there - Google "Trudeau buys a pipeline" and draw your own conclusions. If you remember the rail shutdown in Canada before Covid, that's what caused it. With environmental and first nations' opposition, the pipeline has about as much chance of being completed as the railway we're discussing here.Why? I thought there were Canadian plans on building a pipeline that would carry that oil to a port located in British Columbia..
You know there is a growing "Wexit" movement in Alberta to leave Canada, right? This just may be the stimulus that makes it succeed. There is even talk of some of the western provinces joining the USA.Costly and environmentally-unfriendly construction methods are not likely to win approval from the Canadian government nor native groups whose land would have to be crossed.
Alberta and the NWT would be much friendlier to job-creating development if it ever gets that far.
I'm not sure that enabling the entrance of more petroleum into the world market is such a good public policy goal. Our long-term goal in terms of both mitigating climate change and protecting our national security should be to reduce the amount of petroleum available to the markets, so that alternative technologies regimes can get a competitive advantage. In that way. greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and the strategic value of petroleum is also reduced. That Canadian oil should be staying in the ground where it belongs.On the other hand, having a rail connection capable of operating through winter to the 49th state is a worthwhile goal from a public policy standpoint in and of itself, and if it can mostly pay for itself by transferring oil from our good friend and ally to existing infrastructure (pipeline/Valdez terminal) in Alaska then so much the better. Believe me, I'm all for it; I'm just skeptical that there's enough will to do it to sustain it until completion.
You'd be getting some very pretty country (and great rail routes), but the two new "states" are polar opposites in everything from politics to environmental issues. Think Texas and California with everything that entails.I'll renew my previously Posted idea for the US and Canada to swap Alaska for Alberta and British Columbia.
Having lived in BC,Alberta,California and Texas, I know what you mean!You'd be getting some very pretty country (and great rail routes), but the two new "states" are polar opposites in everything from politics to environmental issues. Think Texas and California with everything that entails.
It's faster. "Nearly" means quicker. It's not that roundabout because of, you know, the shape of the globe.IMO the Bering Strait connection is a non-starter; it's just too remote and there's not nearly enough traffic. It would take nearly as long for freight trains to take the roundabout route from China through Siberia to the Strait and down through Alaska and Canada as it would to send a fast container ship direct from Asia to Seattle...
....not with the tightening of regulations on fuel-burning. Ships are substantially less fuel-efficient than rail. Currently it's cheap because it uses very cheap fuel, but they all have to upgrade to refined marine diesel under the new international treaty regulations. And more regulations will come down the pike after that. I suspect that that changes the calculation of how cheap it is. A LOT.and ocean shipping is dirt cheap.
The container freighters actually do sell passenger cabin space.Passenger transit is an even more blue-sky idea; you'd get more travelers by putting a couple of dozen passenger cabins on those container freighters.