The Edmonton Journal warns that Albertans are itching to separate from Canada if they don't get full access to British Columbia's coastal waters.
A recent poll by the Angus Reid Institute found that 50 per cent of Albertans would support secession from Canada.
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney now pledges aggressive measures to counteract anti-oilsands, anti-pipeline federal policy. Such a resolute approach is needed, Kenney said. “If a reasonable leader doesn’t take us in that direction then an irresponsible leader will take us in the direction of separation.”
The most recent trigger is a little known bill, C-48. It would fulfill a Trudeau campaign promise and see Alberta crude oil banned from being tankered out from a key commercial shipping lane in Canada, the first time any oil product has faced such discriminatory treatment. If the ban goes ahead, it will be perfectly OK to tanker American, Saudi, Algerian or Norwegian oil into Quebec or New Brunswick, and to tanker Newfoundland oil for export, but not Alberta oilsands crude out of the major ports on the northwest B.C. coast.
The move will cripple oilsands exports to Asia. It’s also unnecessary. Marine experts have repeatedly told the Senate that new double-hull tankers and tug boat guardian ships can safely move the oil out to sea.Even Alberta newspapers ignore the truth. What they want to move is not oil. It's not crude oil. It is diluted bitumen, dilbit, a highly toxic, high-carbon sludge that causes severe and persistent environmental catastrophe whenever and wherever it has been leaked.
All this whinging about "discriminatory treatment" is pure sophistry, utter bullshit. And they grossly understate the threat by making outlandish claims about the invincibility of double-hull tankers. Then again you don't expect predators to be honest, do you?
In May of , the double-hulled tanker Bunga Kelana 3 spilled 2.9 million litres of crude into the waters off Singapore after being struck by a freighter.
Last January, the double-hulled tanker Eagle Otome spilled 1.7 million litres of crude oil at Port Arthur, Texas after a collision with a barge.
In 1992, the double-hulled carrier Aegean Sea broke apart after running aground and spilled 76 million litres of crude into the ocean off of northern Spain.
‘Not a panacea’: European study
While double-hulled tanker designs have no doubt increased the safety of marine traffic, they have by no means eliminated the risk. A 2005 report by the European Maritime Safety Agency warned: “The introduction of the double-hulled tanker would not be the panacea for prevention of future pollution from tankers at sea.”
The authors conclude that in most cases double-hulled vessels are safer, however they also raised a number of concerns, including:
1. Accelerated structural corrosion in water ballast and in cargo tanks
2. The lack of mandatory provisions relating to coatings for cargo and ballast tanks
4. A demanding and difficult maintenance regime which, if not properly observed, could lead to structural deterioration
5. Lack of mandatory and harmonized procedures for monitoring workmanship and standards of construction during the vessel construction and repair
The panel also cautioned that many of the vessels are nearing 20 years old, and corrosion and metal fatigue between the hulls could be concealed from view unless the vessel owners invest in rigorous monitoring.
Most commercial vessels are registered with nations with comparatively laxshipping regulations, and fully 40 per cent of the world’s gross shipping tonnage are conveniently flagged to just three nations: Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands.
Nightmare scenario in Vancouver’s port
So what could happen if a double-hulled tanker went aground in Second Narrows? At 240 metres, Aframax tankers are twice as long as the Second Narrows channel is wide. A worst-case scenario might involve the bow of a tanker running aground on one side of the channel and the stern being carried by the ship’s momentum to ground on the other side.
As the tide falls, the fully loaded ship is supported by only bow and stern. Not designed for such stresses, the hull ruptures, spilling crude oil on a five-knot tidal current out into English Bay and the Strait of Georgia.
Under such conditions, there would be little hope of quickly containing the oil with floating booms, or maneuvering another vessel alongside to pump out the grounded tanker.Notley plays the same devious game:
Reasonable safety measures can and must be taken, Notley assured her, but fairness demands we must not target a particular product with standards that are way out of whack compared to our standards for moving other products."Other products" don't pose the same risk. Notley knows the difference between bitumen and crude oil. She simply doesn't want to admit it. They are held to different standards because they are different products.
Separate? Be my guest. Just leave us out of your lunacy.