May calls for tanker ban on oil-spill anniversary

By Cindy E. Harnett, Times Colonist March 24, 2012

A moratorium on crude-oil supertankers on B.C.’s coast should be expanded and enshrined in legislation, Green Party leader Elizabeth May said on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

“We know oil and water don’t mix,” said May, who was at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney Friday.

After the Exxon Valdez was grounded on a reef in Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1989, it spewed 40 million litres of crude oil across approximately 2,000 kilometres of shoreline. The area has not yet recovered, May said.

“It is important … that we mark [this anniversary], and remember the Exxon Valdez spill and recall very clearly why B.C. had the foresight to put a moratorium on supertankers on our coastline in 1972,” May said.

The Green Party is calling for a legislated ban on crude-oil tankers along B.C.’s coast – expanded to include the busy Lower Mainland and north coast of the province…In southern B.C., 1.2 million barrels of crude oil has been shipped each week from Kinder Morgan’s Burrard Inlet terminal in Vancouver to California and China, said May.

Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion would see 229 oil tankers annually transit from Burrard Inlet through the Salish Sea “as they head for hydrocarbon-hungry American and Asian markets,” said Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

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