American Green Dollars won't stop Harper

Stephen Harper is warning us that big green bucks of the environmental kind may flow into Canada in an attempt to thwart the legitimate conservative, whoops, I mean corporate efforts of the Ethical Oil folks.

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Today the CBC reported that the Prime Minister of Alberta and the rest of Canada "...told journalists Friday he's heard concerns expressed about the use of foreign money by interveners opposed to an oilsands pipeline proposed for northern B.C. by Calgary-based Enbridge."

So now we know that the federal government that slashed its own global warming monitoring division, is going to ensure the Environmental review of the pipeline project will get about the same amount of scrutiny as the omnibus crime bill.  And he is warning the big bucked foreigners to stay away.

Odd, Mr. Harper didn't seem to mind when the Exclusive Brethren, a secretive anti-gay religious group from the USA spent thousands of dollars delivering leaflets in Canada in an attempt to stop same-sex marriage in June of 2005.  I guess those foreign dollars are less green.

Oiled vegetation floats upstream of the Ceresco Dam
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government will look into measures to prevent the approval process for energy projects from being "hijacked" by opponents of the developments.  Suddenly I see another light coming on.  If we're (our federal government) going to put in measures to prevent those that think we should scrutinize development projects, why not just eliminate public consultations all together, it worked with the Canadian Wheat Farmers, why not the Ethical Oil extractors. It's brilliant, what good is a majority if you have to consult with people that disagree with you.

Enbridge has had hundreds of spills from their pipelines, many which may have been preventable if the company had fixed problems identified by authorities.  Two weeks before a huge break in one of its pipelines and facing many demands by authorities to fix defects in the pipeline, Enbridge asked the approval agency to allow it to simply reduce the flow of oil through the 'defective' lines.   They never got a reply to that request, the pipe burst and sent 20,000 barrels of oil into the river.  Picture this, laid end to end, 20,000 barrels would be over 14 miles long and would fill a two foot trench to the top the entire length.  Let that oil get into a river or lake and you can see what damage it could do.
Enbridge pipeline leak into the Kalamazoo River July 2010

Back to the pipeline, the general public still doesn't know much about this project.  Many people hear about a pipeline and think that's okay.  They have yet to connect the dots on this.  The raw oil product once it arrives in Kitimat BC will have to be pumped into super-sized oil tankers.   The tankers then must get the oil sludge to California and or China. That means they have to travel along BC's coast.

Oil Tankers spilling their loads is not an if question, its a question of when.   Just like pipelines and maintenance of those pipelines, oil tankers are all about accepting there will be a spill and the focus shifts to how one mitigates the damage.

Kitimat BC
When you know there will be a spill or spills, do you think it is a risk worth accepting. Big companies try to build in a cost factor. How much will it cost to maintain the ships, how well trained and rested is the crew, how much will back up systems cost and then they get into the clean up cost.  They never get into the cost of the loss of wildlife, the damage to water and decades of lost life sustaining ecosystems.

Any mistake along the way could contribute to a disaster.  The question for BC and the rest of Canada is this, is it a risk we can accept?  I suggest it isn't.

Prime Minister Harper has thrown out a 'green' herring, raising foreign money.  It's clear he will accept nothing less than a speedy conclusion from the environmental review, that concludes with a green light for Enbridge's proposal.      

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you but what do I know - I am just a little old man living with his mother in Powell River. Wondering where everyone went.