Letters to the Editor

Refined oil just a lesser of two evils

To the Editor,

Re: Refined oil safer for B.C.’s coast, Opinion, April 22.

I agree that refined oil would be somewhat safer to ship in tankers. Refining bitumen in B.C.would provide jobs and revenue for us, which the present plan does not. The present plan imposes all the risks and none of the benefits to British Columbians.

Two concerns perturb me, however. First, we still need to get the diluted bitumen, which is every bit as toxic and destructive as Mr. Black describes, over all those mountains and rivers where a leak could be devastating to fish and wildlife and very challenging or probably impossible to clean up.

Second, we must turn down the heat. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which are objective, international bodies, have all sounded this alarm. We must stop burning fossil fuels.

Building the pipelines is an expensive undertaking. Once they’re built, the investors will demand they be filled with toxic diluted bitumen to make them pay.  We’ll be more locked in to burning fossil fuels than ever. I’ve wondered why the Albertans don’t refine their own dirty bitumen.  It would create thousands of jobs. And, as Mr. Black says, it would be less toxic than dilbit. I want so much to burn a green fuel in my hybrid. Why can’t I have that choice?

Arlene Feke

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