Thursday, March 08, 2018

There's a Difference, Rachel. A Huge Difference.

In British Columbia, First Nations, environmentalists and a big segment of the general public are gearing up for a war against a dangerous and potentially catastrophic product, diluted bitumen also known as dilbit. We're at war against something, something vile and highly destructive.

In Alberta, their premier warns that she's gearing up for war, war against the people of British Columbia.  In a thinly veiled threat in Alberta's throne speech Notley threatened to shut off the oil taps. She turned coy about the target but it's pretty obviously the people of British Columbia.

Notley reminds me of the struggle underway between the Trump regime and the governor of California, Jerry Brown, after attorney-general, Jeff Beauregard Sessions announced that Washington will be suing California's "sanctuary cities." To governor Brown that feels like war being waged on the state.

Canada has just been pushed around by Trump with his threats to levy tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium exports to the US if we don't do America's bidding on NAFTA. British Columbia has likewise been pushed around by Trump over softwood lumber. Bombardier got pushed around by Boeing and an American government that sought to levy insanely high tariffs in an attempt to kill off the C-series jetliner. Now Trudeau and Notley are playing Trump's bully game.

Alberta dilbit imperils the environment of British Columbia and, in particular, our coastal waters that could suffer irreparable, catastrophic ruin. This hazmat crud, laced with really evil garbage including acids, heavy metals, carcinogens, abrasives and pet coke, has caused calamity wherever it has been spilled.

If there was ever a peril calling for the application of the precautionary principle the Kinder Morgan pipeline is it.

"The precautionary principle or precautionary approach states if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.

"This principle allows policy makers to make discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from taking a particular course or making a certain decision when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result."

In the case of dilbit there is more than a "suspected risk." The producers and transporters of the product have demonstrated the reality of that risk over and over again. So now, the burden of proof that it is not harmful to British Columbia, our mountain passes, our lakes and streams and, above all else, our pristine coastal waters rightly falls on Justin Trudeau and Rachel Beauregard Notley.

Just what has got them so riled up that Notley resorts to bullying ordinary British Columbians? What does the British Columbia government have in mind that so offends them? It wants to conduct tests, the same tests that Big Oil and the Trudeau government and the Notley government ought to have done long ago.

B.C. wants to conduct research that the Royal Society of Canada, leading ecologist Dave Shindler and even Environment Canada say has not been done.

We need answers. They ought to be providing those answers. Trudeau says they've done the science. Where is it? Why has he not produced it if only to clear up this bottleneck of his, Notley's and their predecessors' making? 

It speaks volumes that Trudeau and Notley are both getting more strident, more menacing as the demands mount for some honest answers about their bitumen fetish. They've chosen not to provide those answers and that's on them, no one else.

The more bullying them become the more apparent it is that they probably already have the answers to our questions. They know how bad this crud is, they know how it behaves when - not if, when - it's spilled either on shore or at sea. They don't want to talk about it.

It's entirely reasonable that British Columbia follows the precautionary principle. The burden of proof is on Notley and Trudeau. We're still waiting.


Jay Farquharson said...

When Kinder Morgan switches the pipeline over to dilbit, 600 BC jobs go away.

No more oil or gas (gasoline) in BC, just dilbit for China.

the salamander said...

.. latest word I have.. is that the dilbit aint going to Asia.. just a southbound end around to the Gulf Coast.. why? Because its a cheap buy and best price for the seller. The seller of course is not Alberta per se.. but a foreign owned entity.. yes yes Alberta gets a slice of the tar sand bake sale.. tiny.. but a slice nevertheless.. I have hidden it cleverly between 'slice and nevertheless'.. its damn near invisible

The american Gulf Coast is home of the pipeline kings if I aint mistaken.. former Enron thuggies. This story just gets more and more twisted if one tries to unravel the mystery of it all. Its got wonderboy Jason th Kenney all a dither.. its the donkey he will backward ride to the premiership.. Notely fell down the rabbit hole.. awakened in dreamland. Alberta of course has lost it collective mind.. lost its shite.. still thinking it will become a wealthy energy superpower & nobody will have to work again.. (earth to Alberta.. you are chasing a dream of Stephen Harper.. get over it)

Someone a day or so ago.. was impertinent enough to suggest
That if Alberta proved they could manage their own coastlines
then mebbe BC would warm to their pipey lines
The coastlines being their vast tailings ponds n shorelines

Its actually a great observation..

I was thinking of a trout fishing expedition soon
and the mystery fish lurking in those vast experimental lakes
intrigue a man like me.. with rod in hand .. But what reel to use?
Bait or cast fly.. a shiny lure ? Bass plug?
And what to do if a buffalo roaming there gores me from behind
and rudely shoves me into the pristine waters?

Of course I jest.. how else to describe nonsense
'world class oil clean up' - complete & utter fiction
They can pipeline pump the shite.. straight south
Donald th Trump is the guarantor.. .. its the 'winning'

But fracking British Columbia for sweet shale oil and LNG
is the killer of species.. via habitat destruction
and the poisoning of waters..

Yes, protect your marine shorelines
but don't let them kill your inland fresh waters
That's the endgame.. that's what you 'win'
after these thugs are subsidized to screw you
get rich & entertain the Rona Ambroses on their mega yachts

ugh.. get the coffee on.. and get the dogs out
regards, Mound .. your fine work prized here in th flatlands

Northern PoV said...

Call to Action for Saturday

Come to Burnaby Mountain

Where: By Lake City Way skytrain station in Burnaby

What: Powerful and creative mass mobilization that will begin with a march from Lake City Way skytrain station to a final location.

When: March 10th starting at 10:00 am

Anonymous said...

It's not even going to China. The Chinese have no need for the world's dirtiest crude, which will cost them far more to ship and process than the Bakken crude that is plentiful from the more efficient LOOP terminal in Louisiana.

There is no business case for an expansion of Alberta’s tar sands/oil sands on the scale needed to justify the Keystone XL and Trans Mountain export pipelines because of one bare fact: there are zero foreign buyers who today will commit to decades-long purchase contracts for unrefined bitumen at a fixed price near US$80 per barrel. Instead, global traders will literally buy future oil by the boatload, then book terminal time at any deepwater ocean port like the LOOP, anywhere in the world, to embark with two million barrels in a single cargo.

Vancouver will never be one of those ports. No VLCC will ever arrive to offload foreign oil, then upload Alberta bitumen for a backhaul trip to foreign refineries. So the pending Trans Mountain pipeline plan to triple tar sands/oil sands exports, and increase oil tanker traffic under the Lions Gate Bridge up to seven-fold, is doomed. So is the plan to expand tar sands/oil sands output by 40%.

Trans Mountain is a con - hint, Kinder Morgan comes out of Enron. I just hope no public money is being committed to this white elephant.


Northern PoV said...

By threatening to cut off Alberta Oil to BC ...
(something she does not currently have the power to do) ...
Notley has in effect legitimized Hrogan's threat to stop bitumen coming into BC.
Funny, "Provincial Rights" just doesn't have the same panache as "States Rights" eh?

Deacon Jester said...

What is the benefit to so called British Columbia of being a province of Canada?

Serious question.

Owen Gray said...

Aand the irony of it all is that, economically, dilbit's days are numbered.

Toby said...

It would be nice if news readers on TV and radio would call it "dilbit." They persist in calling it oil which is deliberately misleading.

The Mound of Sound said...

Jester, you pose a question I've wrestled with even on this blog for years. There is slowly growing support for the idea of a new nation, Cascadia, that would comprise BC and the Pacific coastal states, at least Washington, Oregon and, ideally, California from San Francisco north. There's not much prospect of it. Both federal governments would bring their considerable power to bear in thwarting it. Whether it would be a different story if BC achieved independence first is something we would not know until that had happened.

As for the benefit of confederation, I see less of it with each passing decade. Here's a story. I came to BC from Ontario in the latter part of the 60s to begin my military career at officer school in Esquimalt. The time was almost entirely spent on Vancouver Island. I tried to take in the whole thing, the reality of the ocean and the mountains but I couldn't shake the idea that this was a different place from what I had known in the rest of Canada. There did not seem to be any particular fit. It was a place sort of "tacked on" to the nation. The mountains gave me a sense of a boundary, a separation. To me, Canada was on the other side. I still have that sense.

Anonymous said...

Anyong.....Just wait until Jason Kenny is Premier of Alberta. B.C. won't know what hit it. I am not sure, but I don't think you have visited Newfoundland & Labrador. Now there is a place that has been tacked on as the tenth province. A place that is as different as any other place in this country; a place that was payment for the antics of Mackenzie King and Joe Smallwood. Sold to Canada for payment of 6.5 million dollars Britain owed Canada just so a man who failed at pig farming in PEI could become Premier and stop it from falling into the hands of the Americans. All devised in the back rooms of Parliament to dupe Newfoundlanders' from their rightful place within their Sovereignty of Newfoundland & Labrador. "Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders'" by Greg Malone. A deceitful and cruel tactic to which Newfoundland is always paying, and paying, and paying. Now. At this time, it is being considered a wonderful wonder land for those who have billions to spend on adventures to last a lifetime. Relocating all people to the St. John's area is on the mind of those who hope to make billions. This country doesn't give one hoot for any other province but their own. So much for the second largest country in the world. Let's dismantle it all in the name of getting what we want. Imagine.....becoming a part of the USA. I can't think of a worse death than that. Oh! The horrible name Newfoundlanders' reaped at the time of Confederation which still remains to this day, came directly out of the mouth of King, Lester Pearson, and others.

Anonymous said...

Anyong....Toby....everything is misleading in this country.