Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BC Town Rejects the Northern Gateway Pipeline

A British Colombia town has rejected the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project that would ferry 525,000 barrels of tar sands bitumen each day from Alberta to the west coast.

On Saturday April 12, voters in Kitimat said "no" to Enbridge and the Canadian Conservative's proposed oil pipeline, terminus and super-port that would subject the west coast to hundreds of oil bearing supertankers each year.

As the fate of the Keystone XL is being debated, the ruling Canadian conservatives are looking for alternatives that will also embolden the case for the Keystone, particularly the argument that suggests the government will find alternative markets if the US decides not to proceed with the Keystone.

While the Keystone would take the oil south to the US Gulf Coast the two alternative routes would take the oil East (the Energy East pipeline) and west (the Northern Gateway pipeline). All three routes would ultimately use supertankers to ferry the oil abroad.

There are several reasons why the town of Kitimat, BC,  rejected the 650-mile-long Northern Gateway pipeline, terminus and super-port. There is growing awareness about the local environmental and health dangers of extracting tar sands oil and the global impacts on climate change. Questions are also being raised about the safety of pipelines and threats posed by oil tanker traffic along Canada's fragile and pristine west coast.

Previously the government of BC indicated it was opposed to the Northern Gateway project. Export of the oil sands is not the only fossil fuel that has become an import public issue. Voters in the Bellingham area rejected the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal when they elected four conservationist-backed members to the Whatcom County Council in November.

Despite a continent wide multimedia advertising campaign, the Canadian government and Enbridge have not succeeded in winning over the people of BC. If these votes are any indication, British Colombians are decidedly opposed to fossil fuels being transported and refined on the coast.

If their future style of governance is anything like the past, Canada's ruling Conservatives will ignore the democratic will of people in the province of BC and rubber stamp the project in June.

Related Articles
BC Opposes the Northern Gateway Pipeline
Canadian Conservatives Silence Opposition to the Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline
Canadian Prime Minister Dismisses Environmental Review of Northern Gateway Pipeline
New Tar Sands Pipeline Goes East to Follow the Path of Least Resistance
The Dangers of Transporting Fossil Fuels
Pipelines and Oil Spills in Alberta Canada
Top 25 Oil Spills Over 1000 Tonnes in the Last Decade
Infographic: 13 Oil Spills in 30 Days
Three of the Most Destructive Tanker Oil Spills in History
TransCanada Pipeline in Manitoba Explodes Adding to Fossil Fuel Concerns
Video - January Fire at a Natural Gas Pipeline in Manitoba
Oil Spills in Trinidad: Fossil Fuels and Politics Don't Mix 
New Pipeline Project Partners Fracking with the Tar Sands
Unstoppable Oil Leak at a Tar Sands Production Site in Alberta
Pipeline Explodes in Rural Oklahoma Underscoring the Dangers of Fossil Fuel Pipelines
Another Leaking Pipeline in Montana
Oil Spills Add to Concerns about the Keystone XL Pipeline
Oil Spills off the Coast of New Zealand
Inadequate Safety Measures for the Keystone XL Pipeline
Canada on Track to be a Dirty Energy Superpower
Burning Fossil Fuels and Staying Within the 2 Degree Limit 

No comments: