On November 1st, the Citizen ran one of those lovely Enbridge ads. You know the ones: fish jumping, birds frolicking on the breeze, green leaves floating by.
In it, Janet Holder, a VP at Enbridge who has recently moved back to Prince George to lead Enbridges efforts to sway the public in favor of the pipeline, shares some thoughts in a spirit of honesty.
Ms. Holder apparently takes us for simpletons.
First, she says how much she appreciates an open exchange of ideas. But if Enbridge were open to the ideas of, say, environmentalists, we wouldnt even be having this conversation. They would be building more windmills rather than digging up one of the worlds dirtiest sources of oil and trying to ship it, through BCs pristine wilderness, to some distant part of the planet.
And why are we trying to ship oil to our competitors in China anyway, when our friends in Eastern Canada have to import oil from overseas?
Then she points out that oil tankers have been plying the BC coast for decades, hoping, perhaps, that we wont notice the key point about the increase in tanker traffic if the pipeline is built.
According to the BC government, tanker traffic out of Kitimat will increase from 60 tankers in 2010 to approximately 225 tankers if the pipeline is built. And given that every tanker trip increases the probability of an accident, and that Enbridge will be transporting diluted bitumen with high levels of heavy metals and sulphur, we can be quite confident that there will one day be a devastating spill on our coast.
Remember the Exxon Valdez?
Currently, tankers carrying oil from Alaska to the US observe a voluntary exclusion zone, keeping them out of BCs coastal waters and inside passage. The proposed pipeline would have Ultra Large Crude Carriers, the worlds largest tankers with a capacity over three million barrels, steaming in and out of Kitimat. Tankers that massive are not even allowed in Vancouver, and they want to bring them through the narrow straits to Kitimat?
Since there is plenty of demand for oil in the US and Eastern Canada, the only reason to sell our oil to China would be to get a better price. So we should risk BCs rivers and coasts so someone else profits and the gas price goes up? No thank you!