I am, God knows, no scientist and it’s this that made by heart warm when I saw the story in the Vancouver Sun, September 1 at page A5 headlined “Tankers too risky for coast environment, engineers say”.
Three engineers including two professors emeritus from UBC have verified what I and others have been saying for some time. From the story: “Known as Dilbit, diluted bitumen is a mix of heavy crude oil and a condensate that allows it to flow through a pipe, the analysis explains. When Dilbit spills occur, the condensate separates from the bitumen and forms a toxic cloud, poisonous to all life around a spill” …
“And whereas lighter oil floats on the surface of water where it’s easier to clean up, bitumen sinks to the bottom in fresh water and to a level below the surface in saline water.”
“In both cases it is almost impossible to clean up and tides and currents can spread it over vast areas, with severe and catastrophic consequences for fisheries, marine life, and human safety.” (Emphasis added)
This is scarcely the whole picture when we remember that the Enbridge pipeline travels 1100 kms over the world’s most formidable terrain where the spills are many times more likely to happen than on the coast and will be unreachable by the company which won’t be able to do anything about them anyway. Because these spills will remain, we have a serial polluter on our hands with each new spill adding a new area of devastation.
There is another area no one seems to want to talk about – vandalism or terrorism. We have seen examples of this with gas lines in the Peace area – why do we ignore them with Enbridge and the Kinder Morgan lines.
Yet one more area of concern is how the public and the authorities ever know if there’s a spill on either of these lines. Kinder Morgan has had spills in populated areas but have there been others along their lines that have simply been repaired with none any the wiser?
It’s past time for Premier Clark to make it clear that the Province opposes both the pipelines and the tanker traffic and will do all in its power to prevent them from happening.