Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Iggy On Oil

His promise to uphold and formalize a B.C. oil-tanker-traffic moratorium, a stance endorsed by environmentalists and about 80% of the B.C. populace, is damn smart politics, esp. if you see it as a natural counter-balance to his support for continued oil sands development.

That is: some in Alberta, like Ezra Levant, see the Northern Gateway Project as a means of getting tar-sands oil to other markets should the Obama administration impose clean-up measures, like a carbon tax, upon it. Make us live up, and we will send our oil overland to Kitimat and sell it to the Chinese Communists, is the message.

Except that Iggy's move would effectively kill the Gateway Project; so in effect the LPoC position is that the oil-sands must be developed but must not be allowed to escape (literally) their environmental responsibilities.

And while the measure may not play that well in Alberta, its B.C land through which the pipe-line must run, and B.C. waters that a spill would pollute. So it isn't really up to them, is it?

18 comments:

Tof KW said...

And while the measure may not play that well in Alberta, its B.C land through which the pipe-line must run, and B.C. waters that a spill would pollute. So it isn't really up to them, is it?

Sucks to be a land-locked province, eh?

Gayle said...

It also runs through Alberta. Last summer they were digging up parts of Jasper National Park to put the pipeline down, and all I could think was what would happen if there were a leak in the park. What a disaster that would be. Surely the feds had to give permission for that?

That said, I can only assume the pipeline being built in BC must be with the permission of the BC government.

The Mound of Sound said...

And just how do you think that oil IS going to reach Asia? Think Burrard Inlet, think Second Narrows, think Vancouver's Coal Harbour - that's how. Iggy has only promised to stop tankers in northern BC waters while the Burrard Inlet operator is making plans to move the stuff via Aframax tankers right past downtown Vancouver.

If Iggy wants to immolate every Liberal seat in the lower mainland he couldn't come up with a better policy.

Polyorchnid Octopunch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Polyorchnid Octopunch said...

Smart move, I'd say. Perhaps a bit better to say that it's not solely up to Alberta...

Paul S said...

Iggy who?

That said, it doesn't matter if the Gateway Project goes ahead or not.

With the Deepshore Horizon spill, oil from the tarsands suddenly looks far safer environmentally than other oil sources.

Environmentally and security wise, tarsands oil trumps both Middle East and offshore oil.

Shiner said...

With the Deepshore Horizon spill, oil from the tarsands suddenly looks far safer environmentally than other oil sources.

Environmentally and security wise, tarsands oil trumps both Middle East and offshore oil.


Yeah, because oil tankers never crash.

Tof KW said...

Yeah, because oil tankers never crash.

Shiner, you say that as if oiltankers registered in Panama or Liberia have lower standards for vessels, equipment, pollution, and crew.

Paul S said...

Yeah, because oil tankers never crash. - Shiner

Almost true. Oil tankers rarely crash. Their safety record is excellent.

In regards to tarsands oil, it is shipped/processed and consumed in North America. Few, if any, oil tankers involved.

Shiner said...

Apparently Paul has found a land route from Fort McMurry to Beijing.

Lenny said...

Sorry, Dumstrum, "rarely" isn't good enough when the consequences include the destruction of the B.C. coast.
I don't think there is any way this pipeline will get built.
Campbell is pushing it, but the opposition is overwhelming and crosses ideological lines.
If it's forced through I think you'll see civil disobedience and protest that dwarf Clayoquot, along with concerted international pressure and attention.

Paul S said...

Apparently Paul has found a land route from Fort McMurry to Beijing. - Shiner

Alberta doesn't need to ship any oil to China. Alberta can safely supply much of NA demand without the political instability of Middle Eastern nations or the environmental risk of offshore oil.

It's a no-brainer to increase use of tarsands oil in NA.

Holly Stick said...

So a Government of Alberta scientist had to apologize for defaming two scientists:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2010/06/21/edmonton-mceachern-defamatory-apology.html

Jim said...

Any Liberal that thinks this is good policy and a smart move is an idiot, or from the east.

Pipeline terminus with greater capacity needs to move to the north.

I am from BC, southern coast, and all I can say is that Mound of Sound hit the nail on the head...plus I just watched Iggy's Victoria garden party...

Heh...

Lenny said...

No Jim, MOS is quite wrong. Aframax tankers are already being filled in Burrard inlet, and the northern pipeline isn't a plan to "move" that capacity north.

Gene Rayburn said...

"Any Liberal that thinks this is good policy and a smart move is an idiot, or from the east."

Good to see Jim's taking his usual high road. I guess a summertime spazzout is coming.

Get your seats ready for the entertainment folks! A Jim spazz is about to start.

The Mound of Sound said...

I didn't say Aframax tankers aren't being used already. My point was that plans are underway to ship a lot of Athabasca Tar Sand oil from Burrard Inlet via a flotilla of Aframax tankers. They don't have a proven safety record to begin with and yet plans are to up the traffic substantially.

If Lenny is familiar with the Second Narrows he must recognize the navigation hazard posed for high-tonnage shipping. I assume he's also cognizant of the environmental vulnerability of Vancouver's inner harbour to this sort of oil spill.

Lenny said...

"Making plans to" certainly implies they aren't being used yet.
I'm quite familiar with Burrard Inlet and, to be clear, I don't think any tanker traffic should be allowed through it. The Lower Mainland pipeline was originally built to supply refineries in Burnaby - not to load tankers with crude. Turning Vancouver into an oil port has been done by relative stealth, without public debate.
Jim was trying to imply that the northern pipeline is being proposed to shift tanker traffic from Vancouver to Kitimat, which is false.