BC government conditions on pipelines

Island Tides  August 9 – 22, 2012

By Patrick Brown

After months of pregnant silence, Premier Christy Clark’s government has finally given birth to a conditional policy to apply to both the Enbridge Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion pipeline projects. Both pipelines are designed to provide capacity to ship tar sands dilbit (diluted bitumen) across BC to load onto tankers at tidewater. The dilbit will then be transported to Asia, California, and other locations where it is expected to fetch higher (‘Brent-based’) prices than it would if shipped directly to the United States…

Chris Genovali, Executive Director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and Misty MacDuffee, a Raincoast conservation biologist, recently authored a report which said: ‘The environmental risks introduced by tankers are first associated with the transportation of petroleum products such as bitumen, condensate, light fuel, bunker oil and crude. ‘The spill of these substances from catastrophic or chronic releases threatens the presence of countless species, food webs and ecosystems that are relied upon for subsistence, cultural, social, economic, physical and spiritual wellbeing by an untold number of individuals and communities. ‘In many cases, hydrocarbon impacts to species and habitats are additive in terms of the cumulative impacts and stressors that coastal ecosystems are under.’

In other words, Premier Clark can’t put a price on the right to transport dilbit across BC and through coastal waters.

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