Mike Smyth of the Vancouver Province took on Adrian Dix this morning for not applying the same principles in his stance on the proposed Enbridge pipeline and consequent tanker traffic to the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning.
Mike is absolutely right. Dix has shown a political wimpishness which puts him, on this issue at any rate, right there alongside Premier Christy Clark.
The proposed lines both go through wild, inaccessible areas of BC, will carry the same gunk (bitumen), with the same certainty of disaster. Bitumen is impossible to clean up at the best of times (see Kalamazoo/Enbridge) and spills will be out of reach of any spill cleanup attempted. As I say, that doesn’t much matter because they can’t be cleaned up anyway.
We will have, along side the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline, the same pattern of serial spills, growing with each spill, with the same deadly results.
Dix’s cowardice comes out of the recent Chilliwack by-election when he felt it unwise to be against Kinder Morgan because it would look like the NDP was against everything. He came up with the weasel explanation that he hadn’t yet seen the Kinder Morgan environmental plan.
Why are those “weasel” words?
Because Dix knows as much about Kinder Morgan as he does about Enbridge. The argument has been proved. Both pipelines go through a hugely sensitive environment with fish bearing rivers and streams and Kinder Morgan’s threatens the Fraser River directly. The bitumen is the same, the spills a certainty and impossible to clean up.
The tanker traffic is deadly for both.
Get your act together, Mr. Dix or, on this issue at any rate, you aren’t much of an improvement over Premier Clark.
The Angus Reid poll on Enbridge published today shows a majority of British Columbians against the project. It must have been commissioned by Enbridge – at least that’s the suspicion when the story in both morning papers emphasizes that 24% might change their minds if Premier Clark gets her demands met. That sounds to me like “if the dog hadn’t stopped to pee he’d have caught the cat.”
This issue is not going to get any better for the pipeline people as the inevitability of catastrophic ongoing spills and the accumulation of ecological disasters becomes more firmly understood by the public. This will get clearer and clearer as time passes.
As I’ve said before in these pages, Premier Clark’s demand for better environmental oversight and money from Alberta are going nowhere. No matter what environmental safeguards are put in place there will be spills on land and sea on a serial basis. And there is no such thing as a “minor” spill of bitumen.
Enbridge’s Kalamazoo disaster turned out to be the biggest land spill in US history.
Finally, in my view as on octogenarian native of British Columbia, I say that our wilderness and coastlines are not for sale and I think that’s a view supported by most of us.