Every Week Kinder-Morgan Ships 1,000,000+ Barrels of Tar Sands Crap Through Burrard Inlet

An oil tanker loaded with tar sands crude leaving Burrard Inlet

A friend, who is also the editor of the website NoTankers.org, called this morning to let off a little steam. As with most all ardent environmentalist and anti-Tar Sands activists he was in need of a good rant. Being friends with lottsa enviros means trying to be a good listener fairly often because there's lots to be frustrated about. His main mission these days on the activist front is protecting/protesting against Kinder-Morgan which currently threatens Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea with 70,000,000 gallons of "dirty oil" coming from from Alberta's Tar Sands every week.

He's frustrated in part because of the MSM's focus on the bogus Christy vs. Allison mud-wrestling match over the potential money generated by an Enbridge pipeline up north that doesn't exist and probably never will. He's frustrated by the focus on the tanker threat to Georgia Strait and Vancouver posed by the proposed expansion of the Kinder-Morgan pipeline 'twinning' that also doesn't yet exist. He's frustrated because with no prior consultation with local First Nations, no consultation with the public, Kinder-Morgan switched from shipping normal Alberta crude to the POCO refinery for lower mainland consumption as it had for 50 years and started pumping larger and larger volumes of the Tar Sands crap requiring much higher pressure through their old pipeline so they could export 9 tankers full a month to California and one to Asia.

But, as we all know Kinder-Morgan is just getting started. If their application to 'twin' their existing pipeline is approved their plans are to increase shipments up to 750,000 barrels a day by 2016. How can they possibly move that much oil through Burrard Inlet? By moving up to Suezmax tankers (capacity: one million barrels of oil), which in turn will require dredging under the Second Narrows Bridge. Just for comparison, the spill from the Exxon Valdez totaled a mere 250,000 barrels, a quarter of the capacity of a single Suezmax tanker.

Currently residents near the Westridge terminal at the foot of Burnaby Mountain and those near the existing pipeline are slamming the proposed pipeline expansion. They've hired lawyers and are seeking intervener status at the hearings. They and both local as well as Provincial authorities are questioning the amount of liability insurance Kinder-Morgan will be required to have because they remember all to well that their insurance ran out quickly when they tried cleaning up a 'minor' spill in Burnaby 5 years ago...the damage still isn't totally cleaned up.

Even now, without any pipeline expansion, every 3 days another tanker loaded with Tar Sands 'oil' and its toxic condensate passes through Vancouver Harbour where kids play on the beaches, where millions of visitors are drawn to spend their eco-tourist dollars while marveling at the vistas and the flora/fauna surrounding the world's most livable city. My friend is frustrated because he can't understand how the good people of Vancouver could have been hoodwinked into gambling so much so a few already rich capitalists can get slightly richer. As the video below says, "Some risks are just not worth taking."