Published: Saturday, May 17, 2008
Re: “Premier counters dirty oil threat,” May 9.
Premier Ed Stelmach is in for a rude awakening if he thinks he’s going to snap his fingers and build a pipeline to the north coast of British Columbia in order to send oilsands products to Asia.
Approval and construction of a pipeline would put B.C.’s coastal environment (marine and terrestrial) at risk with an attendant increase in tanker traffic, as intense pressure would be on to lift the current 35-year-old oil tanker moratorium. In addition to the spectre of an Exxon Valdez-type disaster, there is concern about a potential rise in deadly ship strikes to whales with more tankers plying B.C.’s coastal waters.
Are British Columbians willing to put this magnificent coast at risk, contribute to the acceleration of climate change and serve as an enabler for the exploitation of Alberta’s boreal environment so that the Stelmach government can bypass American concerns about the oilsands? An Ipsos Reid poll conducted in 2006 would seem to indicate not, as 75 per cent of B.C. residents, including 71 per cent of Conservative party voters, supported a ban on oil tankers.
Chris Genovali, Sidney, B.C.
Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation.