Eco-tourism worth billions trumps value of Kinder Morgan project, new report argues

Salish sea cover

National Observer

By Charles Mandel in News, Energy | January 22nd 2016

A new report tears into the Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline extension application, saying the company’s environmental assessments show a lack of scientific rigour and unsubstantiated assumptions surrounding the fate, behaviour and toxicity of dliuted bitumen.

“Their conclusions are fraught with an unacceptable degree of uncertainty, are not supported by the scientific literature, and often not supported by their own information,” asserts the executive summary of the report from the British Columbia-based Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Titled Our Threatened Coast: Nature and Shared Benefits in the Salish Sea, the report shows an oil spill of diluted bitumen would have devastating consequences for the region’s wildlife and coastal tourism.

The report contends a large oil spill near Turn Point at the northern end of Haro Strait – which separates Vancouver Island and the B.C. Gulf Islands from Washington State’s San Juan Islands – has a 95 per cent chance of reaching killer whales if they are anywhere near the area at the time.

A 60 per cent chance exists of oil contamination on the surface within a 3,800 kilometre centred on Haro Strait after a spill at Turn Point. The report notes that Haro Strait is one of the most routinely traveled areas in the Salish Sea for resident killer whales…

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