I’ve written before about the BC pipeline controversy. Like many Canadians, I’m unconvinced that it makes sense to bet heavily on filthy carbon-laden bitumen, unconvinced that we should rip the hell out of Northern Alberta’s people and landscape to extract it, unconvinced that we should ship it out of the country so we can buy the refined product back, unconvinced that we should pipe it through our wilderness to the sea, and really unconvinced that it makes sense to run 250 supertankers a year into the narrow stormy fjords of northern BC.
Here’s an an outstanding open letter from an expert, addressing that last point. The more I read about the Northern Gateway notion, the loonier it sounds.
Interestingly, there’s been a Plan-B proposal recently from a huge company I never heard of called Kinder Morgan, which operates a big pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver. They want to triple its capacity and make my neighborhood the tar-sands depot. Local politicians, both municipal and provincial, are horrified.
Doesn’t seem that crazy to me. The waterways are wider, the weather’s better, the pipeline’s already routed, and we have the big-ship infrastructure. Also, the chance that the depot’s neighbors will be seen as expendable yokels by the steak-fed big-city big-oil executives is lower in Vancouver than Kitimat.
Hey, I still think the whole tar-sands initiative smells lousy; environmentally, politically, and literally. But however it comes out, let’s please not roll the supertanker dice on our north coast.