Pipeline should concern us all

Staff writer
April 11, 2014 01:00 AM


After talking to a number of people on the Coast and in Vancouver recently, I find it astounding that so few know about the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Kinder Morgan filed an application in December, 2013 to expand its Trans Mountain Pipeline. The proposed 1,150-km pipeline will carry diluted bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to Burnaby.

If approved by the National Energy Board and subsequently the federal government, the project would nearly triple oil capacity to 890,000 barrels annually and bring about 400 more tankers a year into Burrard Inlet (up from about 80).

Tankers will ship the oil through the Burrard Inlet, Georgia and Juan de Fuca straits onto China.

The City of Burnaby has sent a letter to the National Energy Board asking them to reject the proposed expansion. People have been misled to believe that the pipeline will follow the route of the existing pipeline. Less than 10 per cent of the proposed new pipeline in Burnaby is going along the existing route. The other 90 per cent is new.

Kinder Morgan touts a 60-year safety record; however, one spill in 2007 devastated an entire Burnaby neighbourhood and damaged Burrard Inlet habitat with a mere 1,500 barrels of oil (70,000 litres). This small spill sparked a $15 million cleanup bill.

?Just one spill could devastate our marine wildlife, birds, beaches and our West Coast way of life. Even if there is only a one per cent chance of a spill, the effect of that spill will be so catastrophic that it is not worth taking the chance.

If our government would spend a fraction of the budget on alternative energy products, we wouldn't need to continue pumping CO2 emitting products into our environment. If this matter concerns you, please write to Christy Clark.

Kim Darwin, Sechelt

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