BY CHRIS GENOVALI AND ROSS DIXON, SPECIAL TO THE VANCOUVER SUN NOVEMBER 10, 2014
What do you love about the Fraser River, the Gulf Islands, and the Salish Sea? What are your concerns for the future of our region, the health of our economy and the impacts of climate change? The answers to these personal questions are fundamental to informing decisions about Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain expansion and are at the heart of Directly Affected, a new documentary film produced by Vancouver filmmaker Zack Embree and Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
The proposed tripling of the Trans Mountain pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day and consequent five-fold increase in tanker traffic would see more than 400 tankers laden with diluted bitumen travelling the Salish Sea every year.
Numerous risks are associated with Kinder Morgan’s proposal that could adversely affect people and wildlife locally, regionally, and globally. These include health and safety concerns, pollution, habitat destruction from tar sands extraction, harm to birds and mammals, the acceleration of global climate change, and the potential for chronic and catastrophic oil spills throughout B.C.’s land, rivers and oceans. These environmental impacts can have ensuing social, cultural and economic consequences. Communities throughout the Salish Sea have legitimate concerns about this proposal that are not being addressed.
It is important to note that beyond the risk of spills, the project will have a range of impacts, many of which cannot be mitigated. Kinder Morgan’s own application clearly states that, “the potential effect of the increase in project-related marine vessel traffic is considered to be high magnitude, high probability and significant for southern resident killer whales.” These iconic whales are critically endangered and whether they can remain viable, i.e. continue to exist with or without an oil spill, is a pivotal question Raincoast is trying to answer through a population viability analysis…
To read the full article, please visit the Vancouver Sun website.