I’ll say this for Fraser Institute “Fellow” Fazil Mihlar, in charge with the Vancouver Sun’s op-ed page: he certainly knows where to find the bottom-feeders to support his ultra-right wing views. Earlier this week, it was right wing zealot Herb Grubel, today it’s some deep thinker, I don’t think, from SNC Lavalin and a director of HSBC, named Gwyn Morgan.
Perhaps Postmedia, which owns the Sun and the Province, aghast at stands taken from the recent columns by Vaughn Palmer and Mike Smyth, has been under pressure to make amends by ensuring the op-ed page remains the bulletin board for fish farms, independent power producers and pipeline/tanker enthusiasts.
Morgan states, “how difficult it can be for ‘big business’ to be heard over the doom-laden exaggerations of environmental zealots…and powerful international groups…stopping Gateway is part of a large strategy to stymie further oil sands (sic) development.”
Sticks and stones, Mr. Morgan; sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me!
Morgan’s article is full of praise for the safety of pipelines and tankers and deals with none of the points raised by groups like The Wilderness Committee and The Common Sense Canadian.
One can be untruthful in two ways – telling lies or ignoring the facts.
I have some questions for Mr Morgan:
- Enbridge has admitted that there will be spills, as does Dr. Grubel. You have not maintained that these will not happen so one must assume that you agree that spills will occur?
- Enbridge has an appalling record which over the past decade has had a spill of more than one per week. How can you possibly defend their building two pipelines (one bitumen, one condensate) in BC?
- Their record for cleanups, as exemplified by the Kalamazoo spill, forces the question: given that there will be spills in BC, why should we trust Enbridge’s ability to clean them up?
- The pipelines would cross the Rockies, the Rocky Mountain trench, the Coast Range and through the Great Bear Rainforest – how would Enbridge get men and equipment to the spill?
- The stuff being shipped is not traditional crude oil but the highly toxic bitumen which, when spilled on water, sinks like a rock and is virtually impossible to clean up. Why, Mr. Morgan, should British Columbia run the certainty of spills of highly toxic tar sands that cannot be reached and could not be cleaned up, even if Enbridge could get to them?
Mr. Morgan, because these spills cannot be cleaned up, we’re dealing with serial spills adding ongoing environmental damage to previous uncleaned spills.
The overall problem of pipelines/tankers is not just the certainty of spills but the high, long-living toxicity of the substance spilled. It’s rather like having a revolver with 100 chambers with one bullet – if you start pulling that trigger, sooner or later you’ll blow your brains out. If, however, the bullet is simply marshmallow, who cares? The risk of hitting the loaded chamber is still a certainty but there is no damage.
Bitumen is not marshmallow, Mr. Morgan.
I have not mentioned jobs and money, so I’ll close with them.
The pipeline would be built by experienced crews from outside BC and there would be less than 100 jobs remaining on a full time basis.
As to the money, Mr. Morgan, BC is not for sale. We who love this province want to preserve it.
You and the corporate industry in general, in Oscar Wilde’s words, “know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.”