Pipeline’s economic boon a myth

NANAIMO – Those who believe pipeline expansion will bring jobs and economic benefits are being mislead by industry propaganda.

To the Editor,

Those who believe that the Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will bring jobs and economic benefits to B.C. are being mislead by industry propaganda.

If they dig a little deeper into the economic benefits of the pipeline, they will find Kinder Morgan’s own literature gives the bottom line on employment – 35 new jobs in B.C.

Contrast that to the hundreds of millions of dollars in annual profits for Kinder Morgan. It is the company’s owners and shareholders who benefit, not B.C. residents. The bitumen is all for export. None of it will meet B.C.’s energy needs unless we buy it back from China at higher prices.

Consider the economic effects of a spill. The pipeline goes through the headwaters of the Fraser River and crisscrosses its major tributaries on its way to southwestern B.C. where it passes through settlements of more than three million people.

At the end of the pipeline, tankers travel through Burrard Inlet out into the Salish Sea before heading to foreign ports.

Currently, 30 large tankers carrying bitumen travel through local waters every year. If the pipeline expansion project goes through, the number of tankers carrying bitumen will increase to 300.

If this proposal goes through, a major oil spill in our local waters is inevitable at some point in the future.

What will the effects on local tourism be in the event of a major oil spill in our local waters? How many jobs in tourism and fishing will be threatened by such an event?

There are alternatives. Renewable energy surpasses tar sands in return on investment and provides far more jobs. Other countries are shifting off fossil fuels and adding electric transportation alternatives. B.C. needs to move into the 21st century.

When people vote on May 14, let’s hope they consider their candidate’s position on the pipeline expansion proposal.

Burtt Fidler