Thursday, January 1, 2015

Environment News

Moving Beyond Fossil Fuels

Ben West welcomed as Executive Director of Tanker Free BC

Released by Ben West, Tanker Free BC

 

Rex Weyler (L to R), Maude Barlow and Ben West at a Defend Our Coast rally 2 years ago in Victoria.

 

anker Free BC is proud to announce that veteran environmental campaigner Ben West is now the organization's Executive Director.

Ben has worked passionately for many years against tar sands pipelines and tankers expansion, and he's the perfect person to lead us into 2015 as we ramp up our campaigns during this critical year,” said Tanker Free BC founder and Chairperson Rex Weyler.

Tanker Free BC was founded in 2009 in response to one of the biggest pipeline companies in the world, Houston-based Kinder Morgan, planning to use the west coast of Canada for its tar sands oil shipping port. The organization was the first to raise awareness about the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project and has worked closely with First Nations, environmental groups, political leaders, celebrities and community organizations to build opposition to pipeline projects on the west coast.

"In just the past few years, Kinder Morgan and its pipeline plans have gone from obscurity to public enemy number one on the west coast," said Weyler. "Ben West has been an important part of this movement and we couldn't be happier to have him leading our efforts."

Ben West, 37, has been an environmental, political and social activist in the Lower Mainland for almost 15 years, dating back to his work with the Capilano Students Union. A former Organizer and eventually provincial Deputy Leader for the Green Party, he has also worked to support electoral cooperation across party lines. Ben served as Healthy Communities Campaigner at the Wilderness Committee for five years, organizing campaigns on transportation, zero waste and climate change. For the past two years he has been a leading voice against Enbridge and Kinder Morgan's tankers and oil pipelines proposals, acting as the Tar Sands Campaign Director with ForestEthics Advocacy.

"I'm thrilled for the opportunity to work with Tanker Free BC," said West. "At this vital moment in Canadian history, as we debate the next generation of energy and transportation infrastructure in this country, I feel privileged to play a leadership role in this important organization."

West will be spearheading the launch of a Beyond Fossil Fuels (BFF) campaign to help organize support for green jobs opportunities and will work with First Nations and community members to ensure projects are done appropriately. The BC Transit Referendum will be highlighted for its potential to reduce fossil fuel dependence while creating good jobs.

"The idea that we have no choices other than pipelines or oil by rail is simply wrong. We can and must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and there is a lot more we could be doing locally to meet our needs and create the kind of jobs we can be proud of. Going tanker free in BC is an exciting opportunity for all of us," said West.

For more information on Tanker Free BC, visit www.tankerfreebc.ca

 

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