Monday, August 24, 2009

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

A subject that comes up at least as often as the increase in fuel prices is the moratorium on offshore oil drilling on the B.C. coast, especially when I am in conversation with folks like myself who have spent most of their lives, "messing about in boats." While I am in favour of new economic opportunities for our coastal communities I'm just not able to accept the risk to our marine ecology that some of the current energy project proposals will bring to us.

So I ask myself that loaded question; "What could possibly go wrong?"
Well here are a few examples that wound up on my desktop this morning
Oil and Gas Spew from Drilling Rigs in Timor Sea

It will take at least seven weeks to clean up an ongoing oil and gas spill from a drilling rig off Australia's northwest coast according to company and government sources.

Malacca Straits Tanker On Fire
Fire fighters are battling a fire on board an oil tanker which collided with a bulk carrier in the Malacca Straits.

If you want to see what else has gone wrong in some of the most technologically advanced countries in the world you can check out some oil and gas related disasters here.

Here is an example a little closer to home: August 1, 2000 - Canada - Residents of the town of Chetwynd were told to conserve water, as officials surveyed the damage from a massive oil spill into a pristine river in northern British Columbia. Chetwynd stopped pumping water from the Pine River as the first traces of the estimated 264,600 gallons (one million litres) of crude oil spilled in a pipeline break on Tuesday reached the community of about 3000 people. The heavy oil had also begun killing some of the river's fish, which are a key food supply for eagles and other wildlife in the region.

So when I read about a proposed 1170 km long twin pipeline to transport petroleum from the Alberta tar sands area to a yet to be built marine terminal in Kitimat, designed using today's most modern technology and the highest safety and environmental standards I feel compelled to ask that question again. What could possibly go wrong?

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