NEWS RELEASE · 31st May 2010
MP Nathan Cullen
On the same day a poll was released showing that 80 percent of British Columbians oppose oil tanker traffic in their waters, Enbridge filed plans for a 1,172km crude oil pipeline across the province that would bring supertankers to the BC coast.
With an over 8000 page regulatory filing, Enbridge has initiated a joint review panel process even as the growing disaster in the Gulf provides clear evidence of the risks of oil developments in marine environments.
“I’m a little stunned that they have chosen to file now,” said New Democrat Natural Resources and Energy Critic Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) “They must be confident that the formal review process is rigged in favour of industry, but I don’t know how they think they are going to convince British Columbians to reverse their opinion on oil tankers while they are watching the devastation oil spills bring.”
The pipeline proposal faces significant opposition throughout the Northwest due to the threat it poses to significant fisheries and tourism and the environment as a whole. The project is also opposed by an unprecedented alliance of Coastal First Nations who declared last month that they will not allow oil tankers in their traditional territory.
“Enbridge is asking people to trust the same types of assurances given by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. Even with the latest technology, accidents can and do happen,” said Cullen. “Unfortunately the current government is more interested in fast-tracking industrial projects than protecting Canadians and our environment. Instead of greasing the skids for this project, the Environment Minister should live up to his title and strengthen the 1972 tanker moratorium by making it law.”
Cullen is in Saanich, BC today to launch his Oil & Water Tour. Over the coming months, the Tour will bring First Nations, business groups, environmental organizations and communities together to unite opposition to Enbridge’s project and engage British Columbians in a dialogue about developing alternative energy sources and promoting long-term sustainable jobs.
“Canadians have seen the extreme environmental and economic costs of oil development. Studying and investing in sustainable alternatives is long past due,” said Cullen.