Residents highlight risk to local economy, lack of jobs, and toxic spills as Kinder Morgan makes official application to build new pipeline
Lower Mainland, BC – The other shoe has dropped. Now there are two active applications to build tar sands pipelines across BC. Kinder Morgans proposal to add a new 540,000 barrel-per-day pipeline was submitted to the National Energy Board on December 16. PIPE UP, a network of residents of Southwestern BC, finds the application consistent with what BC residents have heard from the company in the past year-and-a-half and thinks British Columbians will want to be heard about how these projects could change their way of life.
They want to turn BC into a carbon corridor, said Chilliwack resident Michael Hale. This tar sands project exposes BC residents to all the risks of bitumen transport with few benefits. The question is: Should we put communities, ecosystems, and coastal industries at risk so that Kinder Morgan can make huge profits at our expense?
Abbotsford resident Lynn Perrin stated: Ive been reading through the companys enormous submission and dont find their claims credible. There are pages and pages on the alleged economic benefits of the pipeline. I had to look hard to find it, but there are less than 100 permanent jobs in BC after construction is completed. The small number of permanent jobs is not worth the risks to school children, aquifers, rivers and wetlands.
The companys claims sound very similar to the ones made by Enbridge in their submission for the Northern Gateway project. That submission has been analyzed by economists such as Mark Lee of Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Robyn Allan, former head of ICBC. Both conclude that there are no net benefits for BC. We need to take these warnings seriously, said Perrin.
What community in BC wants to contend with the horror of a bitumen spill? said Aldergrove resident Susan Davidson. I think that a criterion for a world class spill response would be no spills at all. By that I mean not only no pipeline spill, but also no tanker truck spill and no rail spill. Of course the companies cannot meet that standard. We have seen the horrors of the tar sands spills in Burnaby in 2007, Kalamazoo Michigan in 2010 and Mayflower Arkansas earlier this year. The Trans Mountain Pipeline has had 80 spills over its lifetime. That is more than one per year (there were two spills this year).
Davidson offered the following advice to the BC Government: Listen to the people. Dont allow shipment of this dangerous stuff through BC. We need an energy plan for BC that meets our energy needs sustainably, ensures prosperity for all and preserves our magnificent environment.
Members of the PIPE UP Network have spent the past year-and-a-half educating themselves and their neighbours on the pros and cons of the transport of oil sands diluted bitumen. PIPE UP will be filing for intervenor status in the National Energy Board hearings to raise concerns that relate to transporting the toxic heavy oil product through places within their communities.
For more information or for interviews, please contact:
Susan Davidson, Aldergrove (604) 857-1400
Michael Hale, Chilliwack (604) 799-3391
Lynn Perrin, Abbotsford (604) 309-9369
PIPE UP Network