Not only are the Athabasca Tar Sands a looming environmental disaster for Alberta but the Oil Patch is looking to threaten British Columbia coastal waters to boot.
BC's hard-right "Liberal" government has always been a little greasy but now it's gushing at the prospect of oil revenue.
One aspect entails a twin pipeline from the Athabasca fields to a marine terminal near Kitimat. That would mean supertankers just like the Exxon Valdez plying BC's pristine northern coast. Even without a cataclysmic spill, the tanker traffic poses a real threat to coastal marine life and to the livelihood of First Nation and other coastal communities.
And we're doing this for what? To benefit the pipeline builder, Enbridge, and the Alberta oil patch? This is so they can expand their markets for the world's filthiest fossil fuel into Asia and to hell with British Columbia.
Michael Ignatieff. If you really want to get off your centre-right perch and really join the Liberal Party, here's something on which you can take a stand. The people of BC are solidly against this so it should be a real opportunity to do what has eluded you so far - reach the British Columbia voting public on an issue that resonates strongly with them. Even better than that, opposing this project is just the right thing to do.
And while we're on the subject of oily faux Liberals, you could take a stand on Victoria's sudden bent on offshore oil and gas development. There is some oil and some gas that needs to be left right where it has been, safe and sound, for millenia. Drilling wells in the immediate vicinity of a volatile, subduction fault line maybe isn't the brightest, safest or soundest idea. There's a reason BC has had a moratorium on that for years.
Right now we're watching what can happen when there's an oil rig mishap at sea. In the Gulf of Mexico, the Americans are wrestling with an oil slick some 400 sq. miles in area that's threatening the coastline of every Gulf state - Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. From Times Online:
“It’s 1,000 barrels [a day] emanating from 5,000ft below the surface,” said Rear-Admiral Mary Landry, of the US Coast Guard, who is overseeing the emergency response. “Absolutely, this is a very serious oil spill.”
BP, which leased the rig, said last week that it was doing everything in its power to contain the spill and resolve the situation “as rapidly, safely and effectively as possible”, using underwater robots, 700 personnel, five aircraft, 32 vessels, and nearly 200 miles of floating booms.
BP and the US government thought they were dealing with a surface oil problem. Turns out the leak is a mile underwater. BP has a plan to seal the seabottom leak but it's an iffy prospect and it's going to take many months to complete.
The nice thing for the Liberal leader is that the conservatives, the CPC and the LPBC, are on the wrong side of this one. The public doesn't back them on these initiatives but we feel like we don't have a voice. It's an opportunity that's begging to be taken and, right now, the Liberal leader doesn't seem to be awash in opportunities.