The Current

Falling oil prices spell trouble for Canada's oil sands and pipelines

Following a steep and quick decline in crude oil prices, we examine the economic, political and environmental fallout of the slump.
Following a steep and quick decline in crude oil prices, we examine the economic, political and environmental fallout of the slump.
All of a sudden what makes economic sense at a certain price, doesn't make economic sense any more.Jeff Rubin, former Chief Economist with CIBC World Markets

West Texas Intermediate dropped nearly 25 per cent over the past four months, and while prices rebounded a little late last week, the price of a barrel has dropped to less than $85, causing plenty of hand-wringing in Alberta's oil patch.

And because the Toronto Stock Exchange is so dependent on energy stocks, it too has been volatile--investors, mutual fund holders and pension funds know exactly how volatile.

The economy may be affected in other ways as well. For instance, is it worth building pipelines such as Keystone and the Northern Gateway when the cost of oil is now lower? Then, there's politics and questions around the environment--all affected by price.

To find out more, we were joined by three guests:

  • Jeff Rubin is former Chief Economist with CIBC World Markets. He's also the author of The End of Growth.
  • Stephen Ewart writes about the oil business for The Calgary Herald.
  • Patricia Croft is an independent economic analyst with more than 30 years of experience on Bay Street

What are your thoughts on falling oil prices? How does the slump affect you?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Michael O'Halloran.

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