Saturday, June 5, 2010

In BC, 80% oppose oil tankers; add your voice

Massive tankers, crude oil and pristine waters: Can the unthinkable be prevented?
Vancouver Sun: A $5.5 billion project would transport 83.5 million litres a day from Edmonton to Kitimat and beyond by sea.

Larger map here.
Tankers moving down Douglas Channel and along the B.C. coast pass through a range of environmentally sensitive areas, as well as important habitat for birds, fish and mammals. Some observers say the risk of adverse impact from an oil spill is too great to allow tanker traffic.

Northern Gateway pipeline project proponent Enbridge says a large spill could have both immediate and long-term effects on the health of wildlife, fish and humans, and reduce habitat quality. But it contends that 'such incidents would be unlikely' because of accident prevention measures the company promises to implement if the project is approved...

Critics and government advisers both wonder if these plans are sufficient -- and even B.C.'s environment minister is questioning the federal government's commitment to provide the coast with the best possible emergency spill response if the unthinkable comes to pass... The company proposes... the yearly movement of about 149 oil tankers through... tight marine sounds, channels and passes, around Haida Gwaii to the outer coast, and away to refineries in Asia.

A Mustel Group opinion poll, accurate to within 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, found last month that 80 percent of British Columbians support an outright ban on oil tanker traffic in B.C. coastal waters.