A proposal for a safer pipeline is already meeting opposition.
This week, Eagle Spirit Energy, First Nations and the Aquilini Group announced their alternative to the Enbridge pipeline which follows a world class environmental model, would refine the bitumen before piping and would ship from a location directly on the coast.
But Forest Ethics Advocacy’s Nikki Skuce says it’s not about who owns the pipeline but about the risk of spills.
“Safe is relative. I think that potentially, coming out of Prince Rupert might be a little bit more safe than coming through Douglas Channel and Wright Sound but I think the risks are super great on our coasts. We have some insane storms that happen there. You know, how many times does the ferry get cancelled…we’ve seen the container accident that happened because of all that wind last year.”
She says the company is using an inevitability argument to propose the pipeline saying that if it is going to happen it might as well be there’s.
“I think what the Enbridge experience shows; all the opposition, the municipal resolutions and the plebiscite in Kitimat is that…people are super concerned about having oil going through our salmon watersheds and introducing tankers for the first time to our coasts.”
Skuce says people have committed to stopping all heavy oil from being transported through the province so this project will likely meet more obstacles.
Energy Spirit says they have spent the last year consulting with First Nations and communities about the project and won’t proceed without First Nations on board.