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.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Tony Fisk (Apr 23 2012, at 21:18)

Been following this from afar via Bill McKibben.

This struck a chord (you may have read it already): http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/earthmatters/2012/02/20/oil-executive-sons-testimony-prince-rupert-northern-gateway-pipeline?page=0,0

Meanwhile, down under, there's moves afoot to export Latrobe valley brown coal... (*sounds of head thumping desk*)

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From: Eileen Kinley (Apr 23 2012, at 21:27)

I wonder about the impact of the additional tanker traffic on the orcas. The current noise levels are already significant.

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From: Paul Clapham (Apr 23 2012, at 21:55)

Notice that the sea captain says "And it will not result in cheaper gas at the pumps."

Not only that, building the project will actually increase the price of oil in Canada. Check out this news article from a couple of months ago:

http://thetyee.ca/News/2012/02/02/Northern-Gateway-Inflationary-Threat/

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From: Buck (Apr 24 2012, at 04:11)

This article is clearly another example of the foreign funding of critics!

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