Damages can never be undone if there’s an oil spill

Damages can never be undone if there’s an oil spill

Many reasons to kibosh Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal

Thank you to Premier John Horgan and his government for taking a strong stand against the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and those who are promoting it.

We must protect our coast from a catastrophic oil spill. Every time one of these pipelines leaks, communities are left with oiled beaches, and the marine ecosystems never recover.

There’s only one sure way to prevent these man-made disasters and that’s not to put toxic oil there in the first place. Kinder Morgan wants a sevenfold increase in the number of tar sands tankers navigating the coastal waters of the Salish Sea.

The proposed pipeline would cross over 900 streams and rivers in B.C. — all of which eventually drain into the Fraser River. This puts all those ecosystems at great risk.

One bad day is all it would take for the life-bearing waters of our region to suffer permanent, catastrophic damage. Prince William Sound in Alaska has never recovered from the Exxon Valdez tanker spill. Decades later, oil still scars the beaches.

Only 12 of the 27 species impacted have a hope of recovering. One pod of killer whales, which lost nine of 22 members, has never birthed a calf again.

The Pacific herring in Prince William Sound, a fishery once worth $8 million a year, remains closed.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation, whose territory centres around the Burrard Inlet where Kinder Morgan’s oil export terminal lies, did an extensive assessment of the proposal.

They found a 79 to 87 per cent likelihood of a spill in their waters in the span of 50 years if the pipeline went ahead, with a 29 per cent chance of a worst-case disaster — a 100,000 barrel spill.

The burning of the fossil fuels they propose to transport, will increase greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. For anyone who is still not convinced that climate change is being accelerated by human activity, most of which is the burning of fossil fuels, please do your research and check out the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.

Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC, in peer reviewed studies. Currently, 195 countries are members of the IPCC. Global greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities have grown since pre-industrial times, with an increase of 70 per cent between 1970 and 2004.

Our planet is warming, in part, because of our activity. This warming is causing catastrophic weather events which are happening more frequently, and with greater intensity than ever before. Kinder Morgan is proposing to add to this disaster in the making.

I have lived on Vancouver Island since 1988 and since then I have seen a lot of degradation of nature on this beautiful island and elsewhere. It is time to change and move toward a greener future.

Diana Hardacker