Climate Change

Wilderness Committee and Kinder Morgan

On Saturday I met a small group of committed Wilderness Committee members who had a table and signs outside the Broadway and Commercial SkyTrain station. They were handing out invitations to the March & Rally starting at Vancouver City Hall at 12:00 noon on November 19th, part of their continuing campaign against the proposed pipeline by Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Kinder Morgan’s  website states that Trans Mountain currently transports approximately 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and refined petroleum from the oil sands in Alberta to Vancouver, BC and Washington state. They are pursuing a proposed $5.4 billion expansion of Trans Mountain, which would increase capacity to 890,000 bpd. The pipeline is pending regulatory approvals and Kinder Morgan expects the expanded pipeline to be completed in 2019.

What the Wilderness Committee and other concerned Canadians fear is that if this proposal comes through, an oil spill could ruin the currently beautiful west coast of the lower mainland of BC. Oil spills do happen – Stephen Hume of the Vancouver Sun reports that over 770,000 litres have spilled in the Metro Vancouver region over the last decade. Just this October a spill occurred near Bella Bella in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, natural clam beds got polluted, and emergency response was reported as slow and inadequate.

Further, the Wilderness Committee points out that Canada’s tar sands are the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. The National Observer recorded Canada’s ambitious goals for reduction of emissions at the Paris Climate Change talks in December 2015.

In Alberta, boreal forest has been replaced by tar sands. The David Suzuki Foundation confirms my fear that Boreal woodland caribou have already disappeared from half of their historical range in Canada, and herds in Alberta and elsewhere are at risk of extinction because of the intensity of ongoing forestry and energy activity.

I’m all for growing BC’s and Alberta’s economies, but let’s do it in a sustainable way that preserves our natural world, and not sacrifice our foundation of life for short term economic gains.

The Wilderness Committee has a bus coming over to Vancouver from Victoria for their November 19th Rally. More information on the rally is on their website.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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