CONTRIBUTION · 14th December 2013
If Enbridge was interested that the Northern Gateway pipelines will be absolutely safe, then their 1177 km. long, one yard wide pipeline proposal, would be on a much smaller scale.
By dramatically reducing the amount of bitumen being shipped out by tankers on B C‘s North West Coast, the environment would obviously be safer on land and by sea. British Columbia has been wildly successful shipping oil safely on its West Coast for over 50 years. About 70 oil tankers a year have safely navigated B C 's West Coast each year.
If Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan‘s pipeline expansions are approved, over 700 oil tankers would be leaving British Columbia terminals annually. A huge increase.
British Columbia’s exceptional safety record on the West Coast is largely due because it is relatively on a small scale coming out Burnaby’s Kinder Morgan terminal.
By Increasing tanker traffic by about 650 tankers on the West Coast out of Kitimat and Burnaby terminals, it would intensely increase the chances of a major oil spill.
If the B C liberals truly demand a world class marine tanker safety system, then Enbridge’s pipeline proposal should be no larger than Kinder Morgan’s existing pipeline.
We know from our very successful Lower Mainland’s marine history what makes our waters safe from tanker spills. So why would we radically increase tanker traffic in Northern British Columbia‘s coastal waters?
For this reason, the Federal Transportation Canada should decide first on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain twinned pipeline expansion before Enbridge’s new North Gateway pipeline. What is right for Vancouver‘s waters should be the same for Northern British Columbia's coast line
Whether the oil industry likes it or not, Kinder Morgan has proven that fewer oil tankers are not only safer for the environment but also economically feasible.
Once Enbridge have demonstrated that tankers on BC Northern West Coast are safe, then they too can apply for an expansion years down the road.
Given that public approvals on pipelines in the lower mainland and in the United States are waning, the Northern Gateway pipeline may be Alberta's only alternative to export bitumen to Asia.
British Columbia is clearly in the driver seat and our monetary and environmental demands should be high.
Sincerely Mark Clements Vancouver