|

Tankers and orcas cannot co-exist

By Misty MacDuffee and Chris Genovali, Island Tides July 28, 2011

Earlier this year, energy giant Kinder Morgan quietly submitted an application to the National Energy Board (NEB).  The application proposes to increase the capacity of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline that is delivering tar sands crude to the Westridge Terminal in Burrard Inlet.  Nothing new for Kinder Morgan; two earlier applications had already increased capacity to the current 300,000 barrels per day.   This and other ensuing applications propose expansions that would deliver 700,000 barrels per day to the Westridge Terminal by 2016.

While concerned British Columbians are focused on the threat of oil tankers to BC’s north coast posed by the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, these incremental tariff applications are an effective way for Kinder Morgan to quadruple the amount of crude oil going from Burrard Inlet through Georgia Strait, the Gulf Islands, Haro Strait and the Juan de Fuca without ever mentioning the terms “oil tanker” or “tar sands.”   The implications of these expansions are enormous both globally and locally, and the Salish Sea populace will be asked to bear the immediate risks with virtually no public engagement.

According to Kinder Morgan, an estimated 288 tankers (576 transits) will leave Westridge Terminal by 2016, up from 71 tankers (142 transits) in 2010.  This translates to more than one tanker per day transiting our region’s front yard. The risks posed by oil tanker and barge activity here are poorly understood.   However, one does not have to look very far to get a sense of the myriad concerns.

To read the rest of this article please visit the Island Tides website.

Become a Raincoaster

Giving to Raincoast enables you to protect what you love most.

For 25 years, Raincoast has been furthering biodiversity conservation in BC. Thanks to your generous donations, among many other accomplishments, we have been able to end commercial trophy hunting of large carnivores in over 38,000 square kilometers of the Great Bear Rainforest, begin acquiring forest land in order to protect threatened Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, aid recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales by restoring Chinook salmon habitat, and establish a university research lab dedicated to applied conservation science. Strong partnerships are integral to our success.

Our efforts need to be maintained and advanced, now more than ever. As the biodiversity and climate crises collide, your support allows us to continue to make tangible conservation gains. 

Biodiversity protection is the most important gift we can give the next generation. Join us as a Raincoaster today!