Building the Kinder Morgan pipeline not only commits BC’s west coast to a specific economic development path, it also jeopardizes our international and national climate commitments. It will cost far more to deal with the impacts of climate change than it will to build a low-carbon economy.
It’s a fact that oil spills are a risk with any oil transport – we know from past incidents. Take a look at the overview of the more significant leaks and spills that happened in BC, most along the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline route.
Since we produced this infographic, there was yet another fuel spill in BC waters, near Bella Bella in 2016. The costs to the economy and environment must be weighed, as a decision on a new Kinder Morgan pipeline is considered.
On early Sunday morning, a barge being towed up the Mississippi river by a tugboat hit a railroad bridge and started leaking oil. The river is closed to boat traffic and cleanup operations are underway. From the LA Times:
At least 21 vessels were backed up along the Mississippi River as authorities worked on Monday to clean up an oil spill from a barge that hit a railroad bridge near Vicksburg, Miss.
Officials have placed more than 2,500 feet of boom to contain the spill, Petty Officer Jonathan Lally told the Los Angeles Times by telephone. There was no estimate when the spill will be completely cleaned up, he said.
At most, the spill could reach 80,000 gallons of crude oil from one of the damaged barges in Sunday’s accident, Lally said. It was unclear how much oil had leaked out or how much had been recovered.
River traffic has been blocked in the area around Vicksburg with at least 11 northbound vessels and 10 southbound vessels — including tugboats and barges – delayed, he said.
Read the full article for more information
A Vancouver Sun article reports developments in the Enbridge hearings in Victoria this week:
A marine consultant involved in B.C. oil-spill issues for a quarter century says the risks of a tanker oil spill associated with Enbridge Northern Gateway are simply too great for the project to proceed.
Gerald Graham of Victoria-based Worldocean Consulting Ltd. said that calculations based on Enbridge’s own research show there is a 8.7-to-14.1-per-cent chance of at least one tanker spill greater than 31,500 barrels over a 50-year period, depending on whether the pipeline has a 525,000 or 850,000 barrel per day capacity.
“The consequences of a major oil spill along B.C.’s north coast … could be catastrophic and irreversible,” he says in a submission to the Joint Review Panel studying the Enbridge proposal. “Couple this potentially disastrous outcome with a one-in-seven chance of one or more major spills occurring, and the overall threat level posed by Northern Gateway becomes unacceptably high.”
Read the full article here