Pipeline plans pose threat to coastal towns

Proposal would allow greater numbers of large capacity tankers to export diluted bitumen through the Georgia Strait

To the Editor,

While Nanaimo works to develop its economic base, Kinder Morgan is also looking to expand its operations on the mainland via the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline and dredging of the Second Narrows Channel.

Their proposal would allow greater numbers of large capacity tankers to export diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands through the Georgia Strait.

The size and lack of manoeuverability of these supertankers combined with the often unpredictable weather and tidal conditions in the Strait of Georgia pose unacceptable levels of risk for a disastrous oil spill to all communities along the southern B.C. coast.

It would be tragic to have the work done to increase tourism in the Central Island undone by an oil spill on our beaches and harbours.

Other B.C municipalities, including Vancouver and Victoria, have spoken out against increased supertanker traffic as the risk imposed would create no economic benefit to coastal communities since few, if any new jobs would be created, and the oil itself would be shipped directly to Asia.

Nanaimo council, although encouraged to join its sister cities, has remained silent.

While the provincial government refuses to take a position on both Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline, it is of increasing importance that individual citizens stay informed and speak out about decisions that will have an impact over many generations.

The public is invited to attend a free screening of the film Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez June 3, 3 p.m. at Vancouver Island University, Bldg. 200, Rm. 203.

Caitlyn Vernon of Sierra Club BC will speak on the dangers an oil spill would present to the Great Bear Rainforest and Vancouver Island. This event will also be an opportunity to join a newly forming local chapter of the Sierra Club.

Carla Stein

Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Nanaimo

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