Friday April 13, 2012

Local Media

Wildnerness Committee Opposes Bigger Pipeline

Burrard Inlet tanker traffic to increase exponentially

Released by the Ben West Wilderness Committee, Healthy Communities Campaign


inder Morgan today announced that they plan to expand their Trans Mountain oil pipeline to be even bigger than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline or the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. The proposal would see the pipeline’s capacity increased to 850,000 barrels per day -- a much larger expansion than the Texas-based multinational had previously indicated.

“This new, super-sized proposal is simply outrageous,” said Ben West, Healthy Communities Campaigner for the Wilderness Committee. “If Kinder Morgan thinks they can fly under the radar with this massive and reckless project, then they are in for a real surprise,” said West. 

Currently the Trans Mountain pipeline carries 300,000 barrels a day from the Alberta tar sands to their Westridge Terminal in Burnaby, BC. At present, 74,000 barrels a day of this is exported, resulting in approximately 80 crude oil tankers a year in the Vancouver harbour. If their proposal is approved they would be exporting 660,000 barrels a day, which would mean up to 360 tankers per year in Burrard Inlet.

“Maybe Kinder Morgan thought just because they bought an existing pipeline and tanker facility that they would have an easier time massively expanding a pipeline along the same route,” said West. “But the reality is that the people of BC don’t want our Pacific coast to be transformed into a export facility for dirty oil, no matter where the proposed pipeline runs,” said West.

The proposed northern Enbridge pipeline would be 550,000 barrels a day and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would be 700,000 barrels a day. This makes Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain the biggest proposed tar sands export pipeline. This expansion alone would be equivalent in size to the proposed Enbridge pipeline.

“A bigger pipeline means even bigger opposition, and as momentum builds in opposition to the Enbridge pipeline there will be even more capacity to fight the Kinder Morgan proposal,” said West. “This is the environmental fight of our generation and Big Oil is going to lose.”

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Voice Editors Note: One would have to question the environmental impact should there be breaks in the line. When the pipeline broke in Burnaby a couple of years ago a geyser showered homes with crude. Another question one must ask is how safe are pipelines in quake zones?

Kinder Morgan does a lot for the communities the pipelines pass through, and they pay hefty taxes to cities including Chilliwack.


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