Clark gov't should try for better benefits for B.C.from proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline
Exports to Asia could start asap with oil-on-rail to ports, project could add local jobs with new refinery near tidewater
By John Twigg
In keeping with the focus on opinion polls in the previous issue, it's all the more interesting to closely examine a poll released Thursday (Dec. 5) which reportedly finds considerable support in B.C. for the proposed $5.5-billion Northern Gateway oil pipeline that would carry refined bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to an export terminal in Kitimat, B.C.
Public hearings by the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency begin next week on the project, which is backed by Enbridge Inc., a major pipeline operator with its share of accidents in other parts of North America, but the project has already been contentious for years and even was a difference-maker in some local government elections last year.
Many local interests are rightly concerned about the threat of polluting spills and many provincial interests even more worried about the threat of oil tanker accidents in B.C.'s rough waters, while First Nations interests naturally point out that there is a blatant lack of treaties along most of the proposed pipeline route and so far there hasn't been much in it for them except added risks to their environments and communities.