Keep coast free of oil rigs

Winnipeg Free Press
Oct. 22, 2008
by Chris Genovali

Re: Ex-premiers sing praises of BC offshore oil development; Campbell nixes notion, (Free Press, Oct. 21). It is unfortunate that former interim premier turned industry consultant Dan Miller is once again advocating for industry to open up British Columbia’s coast to oil rigs, tankers, pipelines and the risk of an Exxon Valdez style catastrophe.

Every stage of the looming offshore development scheme poses a threat to cetacean populations on the coast, starting with harmful noise impacts generated by seismic activity all the way through to the prospective spills, underwater noise and ship strikes associated with the transport of the recovered oil and gas. Marine bird populations and wild salmon stocks will be made vulnerable as well.

We do not need coastal oil exploration to satisfy domestic consumption in Canada and the oil sands crude from Alberta anticipated for shipping to Kitimat will be headed straight out of the country (likely to Asian markets) on VLCC’s (Very Large Crude Carriers) approximately the size of the Exxon Valdez or larger.

The not-so-hidden agenda behind all the chatter about rescinding the moratoria in B.C. has everything to do with export markets. For instance, Canada ranks as the No. 1 supplier of oil to the U.S., whose oil usage makes up 25 per cent of world oil consumption.

In addition, Miller is apparently unconcerned about significantly contributing to the already dangerous level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere once all those foreign consumer countries of Canadian oil burn up the product. Parenthetically, climate scientist James Hansen of NASA has stated that we have passed what he considers the threshold for “maximum permissible concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Chris Genovali

Raincoast Conservation
Sidney, British Columbia

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