I recently received this important letter from www.WildernessCommittee.org :
No Pipelines, No Tankers, No Tar Sands!
It seems like every week we see headlines about a new oil spill or pipeline leak somewhere in North America. The 2010 BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico made everyone aware of just how dangerous our society’s addiction to oil can be.
Despite this, our own government continues to allow big oil companies to vastly expand the system of pipelines taking tar sands crude oil to overseas markets. Here in BC’s Lower Mainland, I meet people all the time who are deeply concerned about climate change and the terrible impact of tar sands expansion. Many are aware that the tar sands are the largest industrial project in history, with pipelines expanding across the continent and little to no regard for the ecosystems and communities that lie in the infrastructure’s path. But most people are shocked when I tell them Vancouver’s harbour is quickly becoming a key shipping terminal for tar sands crude.
Without any kind of proper public consultation [as with the HST], massive oil tankers have been allowed to pass through the narrows of the Port of Vancouver – already two tankers a week, each carrying more than three times more crude oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez. Kinder Morgan has applied to expand their Trans Mountain Pipeline so they can carry far more tar sands crude to the Pacific, and plans to ship even more oil are in the works.
All over North America, people are taking action to say ‘No’ to the expansion of tar sands pipelines. A mass civil disobedience action in Washington DC has been pressuring the US government to stop approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline proposed to carry tar sands crude oil from northern Alberta to refineries in Illinois, Oklahoma and the U.S. Gulf Coast.
At the same time, here in the Lower Mainland we are taking action to spotlight and protest the tar sands pipeline in our own backyard – in North Burnaby. Back in 2007, community members had to deal with a pipeline rupture that caused oil to gush out from underneath a city street. The danger that these tankers pose is NOT worth the risk of an oil spill. On Saturday, August 27th, we held a rally outside the refinery in North Burnaby, joined by our allies at the Council of Canadians, Tanker Free BC, Streams of Justice and StopThePave.org.
Our numbers are growing. Together, we can help turn off the taps on the tar sands, stop Enbridge, stop Kinder Morgan, stop Keystone and ban tankers from Canada’s Pacific coast. Please join us and get involved.
Ben West | Healthy Communities Campaigner
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