BC-wide day of action to defend our coast

Author
Leadnow.ca
People are coming together like never before to tell our provincial and federal governments that BC’s coast must be protected from tar sands pipelines and tankers. Today, we’re writing to invite you to join an unprecedented BC-wide day of action to defend our coast.

First Nations leaders have formed an “unbroken wall of opposition” to the Enbridge tar sands pipeline and tanker plan. Over 100 First Nations have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration to ban tar sands pipelines from their land, and First Nations of the North and Central Pacific Coasts and Haida Gwaii have signed the Coastal First Nations Declaration to ban tankers carrying tar sands crude from transiting their lands and waters. [1]

A majority of British Columbians are opposed to the expansion of tanker traffic on BC’s coast, and the BC Union of Municipalities, along with over 50 individual municipalities, have called for a tanker expansion ban that would stop Enbridge and Kinder Morgan tar sands pipelines.

Still, in the face of this growing BC-wide consensus, our federal government is trying to ram the pipelines through local opposition, and our provincial government is sitting on the fence and suggesting that BC’s coast can be bought.

We need to send a powerful message now to make sure that BC’s coast is protected.

On October 24th, join thousands for a BC-wide Day of Action where we’ll link arms at MLA offices in communities across the province to symbolize BC’s unbroken wall of opposition to tar sands pipelines and tankers, and show our representatives that we are organizing in their communities.

Click here to find a community action near you: http://defendourcoast.ca/actions

On Monday, October 22nd hundreds will join together at the B.C. legislature in Victoria to participate in potentially the largest act of peaceful civil disobedience ever to protest tar sands pipelines and tankers.

Then, on Wednesday, October 24th, we’ll link arms in front of MLA (provincial representative) offices across BC to symbolize the unbroken wall of opposition across the province, and say “Defend our Coast” with banners and creative visuals.

Together, we’ll make a powerful visual statement to show the unprecedented depth and breadth of this movement, and make sure our politicians know that we are organizing in the communities they represent.

Let’s shut the door on tar sands pipelines and tankers with a clear message to our provincial and federal representatives. Let’s support the First Nations who have lead the resistance against tar sands, pipelines and tankers. Join us in your community on October 24th to show our governments that BC’s coast must be protected.

Click here to find a community action near you: http://defendourcoast.ca/actions

Thanks for all you do.

With hope and respect,

Jamie, Logan, Ryan, Matthew, Maggie, Nadia, Heather, Adam and Jen on behalf of the Leadnow.ca team

p.s. Over 31 communities have already signed up to be part of this day of action. These community actions are led by volunteers and organizations facilitated by Leadnow.ca and the Dogwood Initiative. Find a community action near you at http://defendourcoast.ca/actions

Sources:

[1] For more information on First Nations opposition visit http://yinkadene.ca and http://coastalfirstnations.ca/news-releases

Leadnow.ca is an independent community that brings Canadians together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good.

Please support the Leadnow.ca community! We’re funded by people like you, and our small team and growing community make sure your donation goes a long way. Every dollar helps. You can donate online at http://www.leadnow.ca/en/donate

NEB Public Participation Guide and other links

Author
Alan Hunter
BROKE has applied to have an information session with the NEB on public participation in the Kinder Morgan application process.

Public Participation guide on the NEB website: http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pblcprtcptn/pblchrng/pblchrngpmphlt-eng.html

Other links of value:

1. Index page for Kinder Morgan’s commercial tolling application: https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=828580&objAction=browse&sort=-name

2. NEB hearing order: https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=865702&objAction=browse

3. Kennedy Stewart’s intervention application: https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=867416&objAction=browse&sort=name

First Nation Challenge of Shell tar sands mine

Author
Keith Stewart

Request to sign open letter supporting FN challenge of Shell tar sands mine (please share widely)

The Request:

We are asking your organization to sign on the statement below in support of a First Nations Constitutional challenge of Shell’s proposed new tar sands mine. This statement will then be published as an open letter in an Alberta. You can indicate your sign-on by e-mailing Keith Stewart (kstewart@greenpeace.org) with your name and organizational affiliation by COB Oct 17.

Background:

Shell Canada is proposing two new tar sands mine projects in northern Alberta. Environmental assessment hearings on the first project, a 100,000 barrel per day expansion of the Jackpine Mine, are scheduled to start on Oct. 29 in Fort McMurray, Alberta.  (For more detail, see http://www.stopshellnow.com/#!home/mainPage ).

From the perspective of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations (ACFN), whose lands will be affected by both Shell mines, governments are not fulfilling the promises of Treaty 8. This has led them to file a challenge to the Jackpine Mine proposal under section 35 of the Canadian Constitution (you can read the Globe and Mail story here:  soc.li/86kl5nf)

They are challenging the project on the basis of:

1.      A failure to consult the ACFN properly; and
2.      The irreversible impacts on culturally protected lands and hunting, fishing and trapping rights.

Such a challenge has never been fully argued in front of an Alberta Joint Review Panel. The hearings on the constitutional challenge will begin on October 23rd in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

We are asking you / your organization to support this work by signing on to the statement below, which will be published as a full-page ad in the Fort McMurray newspaper just before the constitutional hearings begin.

Statement for sign-on:

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations (ACFN) as they file a constitutional challenge of Shell’s application to expand the Jackpine Mine tar sands project.  This legal challenge argues that governments have failed to meaningfully address the overall impacts of development on ACFN’s treaty rights, and have failed to inform themselves of what ACFN requires in terms of land and resources to maintain their ability to exercise their rights now and into the future. Alberta’s approach to consultation does not promote reconciliation with the rights and interests of First Nations.

We recognize that the ACFN is taking this action to ensure that their rights and lands are protected.  We support them in this effort, and thank them for the leadership they are showing. The protection of mother earth for all people on this planet is a responsibility that we all share, and benefit from.

Sincerely,

[list of names and organizations]


Keith Stewart, Ph.D.
Climate and Energy Campaign Coordinator
Greenpeace Canada
(416) 659-0294 (c)
Twitter: @climatekeith

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept money from governments,
political parties or corporations.

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. It comprises 28 independent national/regional offices in over 40 countries across Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, as well as a co-ordinating body, Greenpeace International.

Mayors silent on tar shipping

Author
MICHAEL HALE

BY MICHAEL HALE, THE TIMES OCTOBER 9, 2012 10:16 AM

Where do Fraser Valley mayors stand on pipelines and tankers?

Residents of the southwestern B.C. are pleased with the motion against tarsands shipments passed by the Union of BC Municipalities on Sept. 27, but wonder where Fraser Valley mayors stood in the voting.

City councils around Metro Vancouver and southern Vancouver Island recently passed motions against tarsands exports, but mayors and councils in other parts of southwestern B.C. are apparently fence-sitting.

Chilliwack resident Sheila Muxlow said residents of B.C. are showing growing concern about the proposed shipment of tarsands bitumen across the province through the Northern Gateway Pipeline, the current shipments of bitumen by Kinder Morgan, and the prospects of increased tanker traffic in the coastal waters of B.C.

She cited a recent poll that shows 60 per cent of British Columbians along the Kinder Morgan Pipeline route oppose the Enbridge Pipeline, and although the Kinder Morgan route has been in the news less, already more than 50 per cent of those polled are opposed to its expansion.

Lynn Perrin, a public policy analyst from Abbotsford said, “Clearly BC’s municipal leaders are responding to public opinion, but I don’t know if Fraser Valley mayors are hearing the people quite yet.”

Michael Hale noted that crowd applauded loudly on hearing the news about the resolution at an event co-sponsored by Cinema Politica and PIPE UP in Maple Ridge on Sept. 27.

However, Hale wondered why none of the mayors are expressing concern about the current shipments of bitumen. Kinder Morgan has been increasing shipments of tarsands, and company representatives are denying that this means increased risk.

This should be of great concern to city governments, who are the first responders in case of a tarsands spill.

Muxlow shared that concern: “When I asked Kinder Morgan president Ian Anderson about the risks of a bitumen spill, he told me that it was no different to clean up than other forms of crude oil.

“The company seems unaware of the lessons learned in the Michigan tarsands spill. One of the recommendations in the report of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) after the 2010 spill into the Kalamazoo River, was that first responders should have special training to better prepare for a tarsands spill.”

Langley resident Susan Davidson said that, when she spoke to Township Mayor Jack Froese, he said he had not voted on the resolution advanced by Saanich council at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities to “oppose projects that would lead to the expansion of oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s coastal waters.”

She reported that he also said that, although he has already had a meeting with Kinder Morgan representatives, he does not consider the pipeline carrying diluted bitumen from the tarsands through the Township of Langley to be part of his jurisdiction.

Enbridge’s Michigan spill cost more than $800 million; more than 300 people were hospitalized, and the river was closed for two years, affecting business, tourism, and property values. A recent order by the EPA in America has directed Enbridge to do further remediation on the river.

According to Muxlow, PIPE UP is planning a series of events to increase the awareness of the risks currently faced by communities along the pipeline route.

Muxlow added, “We want to pass along our research findings about the dangers of transporting tarsands through this aged pipeline.”

Since its inception in April, 2012, members of the PIPE UP Network have found that, besides the destruction caused by tarsands extraction and the risks of transporting it, there are no net economic benefits for residents of B.C. If subsidies currently going into the tarsands were stopped, and incentives provided for renewable alternatives, B.C. could become a world leader in energy.

We think that the mayors need to hear this message.

Michael Hale, Maple Ridge

Sheila Muxlow, Chilliwack

Lynn Perrin, Abbotsford

[Note: Muxlow, Hale, Perrin, and Davidson are members of The PIPE UP Network of residents of southwestern B.C. concerned about the implications of shipping tar sands along Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver.]
© Copyright (c) Maple Ridge Times

Group calls on Fraser Valley mayors to ‘pipe up’ about pipeline

Author
Robert Freeman

Pipeline expansion opponents are asking how Fraser Valley politicians voted on a resolution to oppose projects that increase oil tanker traffic at a Union of BC Municipalities convention.

The resolution, that UBCM “oppose projects that would lead to the expansion of oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s coastal waters,” would include the Kinder Morgan proposal to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline that runs through the Fraser Valley on its way to Vancouver ports.

The resolution was endorsed by most municipalities at the UBCM convention, but it’s not clear how Fraser Valley politicians voted.

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz was not available for comment Friday, and deputy mayor Jason Lum said he was unable to remain at the convention when the vote was held.

But when asked how he would have voted, Lum said that, given the lack of information about the proposed expansion and its possible impact on Chilliwack, he would not have supported the resolution.

He said it is premature to oppose the Kinder Morgan project at this time.

“To be a good political representative, you have to weigh all (the) facts,” he said. “I haven’t had the opportunity yet to gather information from both sides.”

Gaetz has used the same reasoning in the past to defend the city’s decision not to join other municipalities in opposition to the Kinder Morgan proposal.

But she said the city does have specific concerns, like protection of the Sardis aquifer, which Kinder Morgan president Ian Anderson has committed to answering.

But the silence of officials in the Fraser Valley speaks volumes to opponents like Michael Hale, a member of the PIPE UP Network.

He said a crowd at a PIPE UP event Sept. 27 in Maple Ridge “applauded loudly” when they heard about the UBCM resolution.

“However, I’m wondering why none of the mayors are expressing concern about the current shipments of bitumen,” he said.

He said more bitumen will be carried in the expanded pipeline, but Kinder Morgan officials deny this will mean twice the risk.

“This should be of great concern to City governments, who are the first responders in case of a tar sands spill,” he said.

U.S. transportation officials have recommended first responders need special training to deal with a bitumen spill, like the 2010 spill in the Kalamazoo River that cost $800 million to clean up, hospitalized 300, shut down the river for two years, and affected business, tourism and property values.

Hale said that kind of risk is already present as bitumen is being pumped now through the existing pipeline.

“The risk is already there and not very many people are cluing in to that fact,” he said.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

twitter.com/paperboy2

DEFEND OUR COAST

NO PIPELINES! NO TANKERS! NO WAY! DEFEND OUR COAST
Sunshine Coast, Davis Bay – 11:30 am to 1:30 pm – Wednesday, October 24th, 2012On October 24, 2012 concerned British Columbians from 85 communities around our province will come together to express their support for our land, our rivers and to Defend Our Coast.  On the Sunshine Coast we will gather in Davis Bay from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Wednesday, October 24th to line 1,540 feet of the Sunshine Coast Highway with people and their signs to communicate our message that we are for a healthier planet and opposed to the construction of pipelines to transport diluted bitumen via supertankers along our coast.  We will be arranging for aerial photography and video footage to document our Defend Our Coast action in Davis Bay and communicate with the world via Youtube.  This in an historic opportunity to show your solidarity with people and communities up and down our coast and across our province that we care about our future, for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.  BE CREATIVE! BE BOLD! BE THERE!

What’s the problem?

Enbridge is pushing for approval of their Northern Gateway twin pipeline project from the Alberta tar sands to Kitimat.  Kinder Morgan is pushing for approval of a pipeline from the tar sands to their Burnaby loading facility in Burrard Inlet.  Both pipeline projects are designed to transport unprocessed diluted bitumen (dilbit) to the respective ports to be loaded into Very Large Crude Carriers – VLCCs – for shipment overseas.  These VLCCs are sea going behemoths up to 1,540 feet in length and 200 feet wide.  They are enormous and unwieldy and require speeds upwards of 19 knots to just to maintain navigation.  In good weather they have turning circles of 2 miles and take 5 miles to stop.  Should anything go awry and they loose navigation, all the tiny crew can do is ride it out and see where they end up!

Both the Enbrige and Kinder Morgan projects entail enormous environmental risks to our land, our rivers and our coast.  Unlike crude oil, which is very difficult to clean up despite the fact that it is lighter than water and therefore floats, dilbit quickly evaporates it’s dilutent, creating toxic clouds, and sinks below the surface of the water, making surface containment and recovery technologies useless.  Existing containment and recovery technologies are completely useless in fast moving rivers and turbulent seas. Dilbit spills are not only possible, they are inevitable!

It is important to note that Enbridge and Kinder Morgan are simply transport companies, moving product they do not own from point A to B so that the global petro-corporations, who do own the product, can reap a few  more dollars per barrel than they can obtain by selling the same product to overland markets in North America.  If they do, this will jack up the price paid in domestic markets and we will all be forced to pay that higher price at the pumps in addition to taking the environmental risk.  There are relatively few jobs involved in extraction and shipping out of unprocessed resources compared to refining the product here in Canada.  Construction of these pipelines will accelerate global fossil fuel consumption and add to global warming.  It will divert public attention and investment away from investment in energy conservation and renewable energy development, which would create far more family supporting jobs as we work toward a healthier planet.  It will postpone consideration of building land based pipelines to Central and Eastern Canada to replace currently imported crude. It is becoming increasingly clear that our increasing economic dependence on shipping out unrefined dilbit is overvaluing the Canadian dollar and is damaging our domestic manufacturing, exacerbating unemployment.  All in all, building dilbit pipelines to Kitimat and Burnaby are LOSE – LOSE PROPOSITIONS and cannot be allowed to proceed.  Dilbit pipelines are bad for the environment, bad for our economy and bad for our democracy.

Stephen Harper appears to be joined at the hip to global petro-corporations and appears bent on doing their bidding regardless of Canada’s long term interests.  Christy Clark is similarly prepared to sell out our people, our land, our rivers and our coast, if the price is right!  Campaign funding rather than Canadian interests appear to be in the drivers’ seat.  Harper and Clark are elected officials and are answerable to the Canadian and British Columbian electorate respectively.  They can and will be moved if Canadians make our voices heard. Now is the time to show you care!

What can you do?

Come to NO PIPELINES! NO TANKERS! NO WAY! DEFEND OUR COAST action in Davis Bay from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Wednesday, October 24th.  We will have letters of concern for you to sign.  Bring bold, creative, colourful signs to be part of this historic event and become part of what we expect will be an historic Youtube video available to the world.  Tell your family and friends about this important action in any way you can: face to face, over the telephone, by letter and by email.  Print out and distribute the attached poster in your communities. Help us financially by making a donation to cover our costs and advance our work – cheques should be made out to Alliance 4 Democracy – Sunshine Coast.  Check out our website alliance4democracy.ca.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,

Jef Keighley
Alliance 4 Democracy – Sunshine Coast
8580 Redrooffs Road,
Halfmoon Bay, B.C.,
V0N 1Y1
604 885-2290

The Alliance 4 Democracy – Sunshine Coast is working in cooperation with Leadnow.ca, The Dogwood Initiative and Defend Our Coast.

Defend Our Coast is organizing a major gathering in Victoria, BC at the legislature on Monday, October 22, 2012. Details can be obtained at defendourcoast.ca.

Texas solidarity letter

Texas solidarity letter

September 26, 2012

RE: Statement on the Brutal Treatment of Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Protestors in Texas

Members of Texas Law Enforcement and TransCanada CEO Russ Girling:

We the under-signed U.S. and Canadian organizations and First Nation leaders have learned that while protesting the construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, two US citizens over the course of five hours were repeatedly tasered, pepper sprayed and subjected to prolonged stress positions by the Wood County, Texas sheriff’s office with TransCanada personnel also on hand.

We object in the most strenuous terms to this brutal treatment of peaceful protestors, who are trying to protect their land and families from a dangerous and unnecessary project.

Regardless of our views on civil disobedience, there is not an inch of daylight between our views and those of the protesters on the dangers of this tar sands pipeline. Keystone XL threatens the health and livelihoods of families with tar sands oil spills and is part of an industry that threatens
communities with extreme weather. Tar sands oil undermines our clean energy choices.

These protests are part of rising, legitimate public concern with tar sands and tar sands pipelines.

People who are moved to peacefully express their opposition must not be subject to abuse or any type of violence.

We are watching events in Texas closely and we expect humane and respectful treatment of any further protestors.

Sincerely,

Burnaby Residents Opposed to KinderMorgan Expansion (BROKE)
http://brokepipelinewatch.ca

‘Canada Is Being Outplayed’ at Oil Wealth Game

[Editor’s note: The Tyee sent veteran energy issues journalist Mitchell Anderson to Norway to learn how it amassed a $600 billion oil savings fund for its population of under 5 million, a stark contrast to Canada. To finish the series we invited him to share his views on how those lessons could be applied here. With input from economist Robyn Allan, here they are.]

Why do we tolerate homelessness and poverty in Canada? Underfunding for our schools and health care system? Why is our government eliminating 20,000 public sector jobs in a supposed effort to balance the books?

Imagine instead if Canada was a country capable of developing a national oil strategy similar to what has been achieved in Norway. This tiny nation enjoys full employment and enviable social programs, has no public debt, $600 billion in the bank, and remarkable public buy-in about their petroleum industry. Could we do it here? Do we have the guts to seize our economic destiny?

Such a system might seek to maximize employment, tax revenues and environmental protection — exactly the opposite motivations of most extractive industries. There is another public policy goal that is of no interest to private companies: the energy security of our nation.

Seen through this lens, how is Canada doing? Abysmally, by four measures:

1. Dependency. Even with our vast oil wealth, Canada currently relies on other countries for about 50 per cent of our supply — so-called “unethical oil” from the volatile Middle East. Proposals to pipe unrefined bitumen from western Canada to Asia will increase this dangerous dependence since Alberta will have to import vast amounts of condensate from the Middle East to dilute thick bitumen enough for pipeline transport.

2. Staying in the red. Alberta has been unable to balance the books since 2007, burning through $17.7 billion of past oil wealth, with another $3 billion deficit forecast for the coming budget.

3. Draining at full tilt. Labour and production costs are through the roof, at least until the next employment bust. Both the Alberta Federation of Labour and the late premier Peter Lougheed have both called for slower the pace of oil sands growth. Ten proposed upgraders have been cancelled since the 2007 recession, replaced instead with pipeline proposals for unprocessed diluted bitumen. With resource values rising relative to global currencies, what’s the rush?

4. Getting global black eye. The oil sands have such a credibility problem the Alberta government spends $25 million a year countering “baseless” criticism from environmental groups.

Robyn Allan’s prescriptions

Robyn Allan thinks we can do better. She is a British Columbia economist, former CEO of the provincial insurance corporation and outspoken critic of the Northern Gateway proposal to pipe diluted bitumen to Kitimat. She also believes the recent retreat from value-added processing in Alberta is not only a threat to the B.C. coastline, but to the entire Canadian economy. In an interview for this series she told The Tyee:

“Canada has an energy strategy, but it is being developed in a handful of boardrooms of multinational oil companies and national oil companies of foreign governments. And that strategy seems to be to extract oil sands bitumen as quickly as possible, mix it with distillate imported in increasing amounts from the Middle East, and move it down pipelines to Asia and the U.S. Gulf Coast. And that strategy is going to hollow out Canada’s oil sector, move us away from creating jobs and value-added refining, and increase pressures on our exchange rate and the non-oil sectors of our economy. And when the boom becomes a bust, we won’t have a strong economic fabric to fall back on.”

So why does she feel so many state-owned oil companies now clamouring for a piece of the oil sands?

“More than 80 per cent of global oil reserves are controlled by state own oil companies, and there’s good reason for that. Canada is the only major oil-exporting country in the world without a national oil company. Of the remaining global oil resources open for private sector investment, Canada has the majority. That’s why national oil companies from China, Korea and Norway, and now maybe Kuwait and India, are coming here to buy up our resources — it’s the last big game in town.”

Allan believes our country is becoming dangerously exposed in a world increasingly short of energy, especially as we allow state-owned interests from other nations to snap up our globally-strategic resources.

“Canada is being outplayed. We are losing control of our natural resources. We’re losing control of our environmental standards. And we’re losing the ability to upgrade and add value in Canada. We’re not even beginning to use the leverage in this country that we have to control and manage the pace of our development and ensure that oil resource returns come to the people of Canada.”

So what can we do about it? Allan feels one of the key problems is that our petroleum continues to be sold in American, not Canadian currency.

“When the price of oil goes up, the value of our dollar goes up and this creates problems not only for the manufacturing sector but for our oil industry as well. Because we trade our oil in U.S. dollars, any Canadian oil producer finds that their profits fall when they sell their product in U.S. dollars and have to repatriate those revenues into Canadian dollars. The ability of the oil industry to expand and grow is hamstrung by an appreciation of the Canadian dollar. The oil sector itself hurts, it not just manufacturing, tourism, forestry and other sectors.”

She also sees a linkage between our inflated currency and the cancelled upgrading facilities in Alberta.

“We need to address the issue that maybe because our currency has appreciated in value, it’s not as economic to build upgraders in Canada. We have a natural resource in Canada that’s traded in U.S. dollars. Why? When Russia decided to trade their oil with China they elected not to do it in U.S. dollars, but their own currencies. We have to start thinking about what is in the long-term interest of Canada, not what is in the best interests of a handful of oil companies.”

Upgrade here first, then ship

By choosing Canada instead of China, Allan believes Albertans would benefit from higher prices and greater economic stability. Nation building through such mutually profitable arrangements might prove far more productive than past interprovincial posturing.

“One of reasons that bitumen is not capturing the value that western producers want is that its not good enough quality. So if we upgraded it in Alberta into a product that North America wants, we might solve so many problems. Everybody in Canada could win if less expensive western Canadian crude got to eastern Canada.

“At the recent Northern Gateway Hearings in Edmonton, the Joint Review Panel was told by Enbridge’s expert witnesses that right now Eastern Canada is buying imported crude at $20 to $30 more than the price of western Canadian crude. If that’s the case, that works out to about 15 cents a litre at the pump. Western producers could get a price premium of five cents a litre over what they are getting now, the refiners in eastern Canada could save five cents a litre on their crude supply and consumers could save five cents a litre when they fill up at the pump.

“So if that happened, producers and refiners would make more money and consumers would spend less money. That’s got to have a stimulative effect on our Canadian economy.”

Allan points out that shipping upgraded crude rather than bitumen would also require half as much pipeline capacity since we would not need to build supply lines for imported condensate. And most importantly, upgraded Alberta crude should be moving east rather than unrefined bitumen moving west.

“TransCanada Pipelines have said they are looking at converting one of their natural gas pipelines to ship Western Canadian crude to eastern Canada. That could be up to 800,000 barrels a day and would be a tremendous boost to the Canadian economy. We should be focusing everything we can to get that to happen. And the way to get that to happen is to say no to the Northern Gateway pipeline. The best thing that British Columbia could do is restrict bitumen from coming into this province, period. That would essentially be a little bit of tough love to Alberta.”

The late premier Peter Lougheed urged Albertans to “think like an owner.” That determination to do what’s in the interest of Canadians rather than companies is what Allan seems to be championing as well.

“I would hope that the real issue here is what can we do to support and develop the future health and long-term growth of the Canadian economy. We need to stop responding to the preferences of corporations that don’t have the Canadian national interest at heart. They don’t. They’re not meant to.

“Every single time issues are raised such as energy security in Canada, value-added and upgrading, concerns over the appreciation of our dollar — the oil industry goes crazy. And the reason they do is because these are serious issues that need to be addressed and they could be addressed relatively easily for our long-term benefit. What the oil industry doesn’t yet understand is that many of these changes would be for their long-term benefit as well.”

A challenging question

The Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines will obviously benefit China and the shareholders of private oil companies, but what is in Canada’s interest? Are we even asking that question?

At the end of this series I’m left reflecting on the blunt advice of Norwegian petroleum engineer Rolf Wiborg: “You have to leave the feudal thinking and leave the idea that people coming to exploit you have the right to tell you what to do…. It can be done, but do the Canadian people have the power and the will? Do they have the collectiveness and guts to do it?”

How about it Canada? Do we?

Mitchell Anderson is a Vancouver-based journalist and frequent contributor to The Tyee. This article is one in a series on Norway’s Petro-Wealth Prudence which is part of a larger project, “Canada’s Transition to a Better Energy Future,” produced by The Tyee in collaboration with Tides Canada Initiatives Society.

Co-hosting the next in our series of community town hall meetings

Author
Sven Biggs
Burnaby is home to Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal. If Kinder Morgan gets their way, as many as 350 oil tankers a year will fill up with tar sands crude at that terminal by 2017. It was not far from this terminal that a pipeline rupture and oil spill occurred in 2007.

As one of the frontline communities on the pipeline route, Burnaby is key to both Kinder Morgan’s plans to vastly expand tar sands exports and tanker traffic in the Salish Sea, and our campaign to stop them.

Fortunately, people in Burnaby are already coming together to stand up to Kinder Morgan. Recently, concerned residents formed a new local group called Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion, or BROKE for short.

Tanker Free BC, along with our allies at the Wilderness Committee, are really excited to be co-hosting the next in our series of community town hall meetings on the Kinder Morgan proposal for a new Trans-Mountain pipeline with the folks from BROKE.

The town hall will be on October 10th at 7pm at the Confederation Community Centre at 4585 Albert St.

We will hear from Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan and Burnaby Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart, two local elected representatives who have been outspoken in their concerns about the pipeline.

We really hope that you will join us at this event, which we believe will be an important step in building community opposition in Burnaby.

Please also take the time to invite your friends and family, especially if they live in the Burnaby area! You can forward them this email or invite them on Facebook here.

Sven Biggs
Campaign Director |Tanker Free BC
PS We have a lot of other great events coming up this fall find out more by visiting the events calendar on our website.

Tanker Free BC
http://www.tankerfreebc.org/

BROKE hosts town hall on pipeline expansion

Author
Wanda Chow
By Wanda Chow – Burnaby NewsLeader
Published: October 04, 2012 11:00 AM
Updated: October 04, 2012 1:41 PM

Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) hosts its first town hall meeting on Oct. 10 to raise awareness of its concerns about the proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

And while members of the recently-formed group debated over whether to invite Kinder Morgan Canada to send a representative, in the end they didn’t.

“We figured Richard Kinder has enough money, he can do his own advertising,” said Karl Perrin, a BROKE spokesperson, referring to the parent company’s CEO and chairman.

“Because our name is Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion, so we’re not trying to fool anybody. We are opposed.”

The group, whose members and supporters number about 50, was started initially by residents of Westridge, the North Burnaby neighbourhood where Kinder Morgan’s pipeline was ruptured by an excavator in 2007.

“They bonded to some extent because of the disaster in 2007 with oil in their neighbourhood,” Perrin said. “When they heard about the expansion, they thought,

‘wait a minute, we’ve got to do something about it.'”

The pipeline runs from Edmonton to Burnaby and the proposed expansion would increase its capacity from the current 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 750,000 bpd to allow for increased exports of bitumen crude oil from the Alberta oil sands to overseas markets.

BROKE members did some door-to-door canvassing a month ago, Perrin said. “Pretty well everyone had heard about it and pretty well everyone was opposed.”

The group’s concerns largely revolve around the proposal’s potential impact on the environment. Increased tanker traffic would increase the likelihood of an oil spill in Burrard Inlet and the diluted bitumen is much more difficult to clean up than regular crude, he said. That, and the potential for local properties to be expropriated for the project.

Speakers at the town hall will include Mayor Derek Corrigan, Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Sven Biggs of Tanker Free BC and/or Ben West of the Wilderness Committee.

BROKE member Mary Hatch will also speak about her experience having her Westridge home sprayed by oil in 2007, from the firefighter knocking on her door telling her to evacuate to the years of disruption during the remediation.

The town hall will be held Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m. at Confederation Seniors Centre, 4585 Albert St., Burnaby (near Willingdon Avenue).

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

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