The thought of more oil tankers and pipelines along the pristine coastline of Vancouver, British Columbia is a pretty disturbing thought for most people living in the area. While some tankers do ply the waters, Vancouver is a major tourist destination that relies heavily on its natural beauty and amazing ocean-scapes.
Adrian Dix, the leader of BC's New Democratic Party, announced today that his party officially opposes a proposed project that would see more oil pumped from Alberta's tar sands to Vancouver's coast. Dix, considered the front-runner in the provincial election underway in the province, told reporters,
“They are talking about an increase of five- or six-fold [in capacity] and I think that transforms Vancouver into a major oil export port. I don’t think people in Vancouver see that as the right way to go, and I don’t think that’s the right way to go."
"It seems to me that increasing from 80,000 barrels a day to 450,000 barrels a day (exported from Metro Vancouver in tankers) is a massive change in the nature of that operation," he said.
The pipeline expansion project proposed by energy company Kinder Morgan has been met with a great deal of opposition from BC residents, as has the proposed tar sands pipeline known as the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, designed to carry tar sands bitumen from Alberta to the coastal town of Kitimat for export.
Dix promised a new round of environmental assessments on the Northern Gateway pipeline, but has not voiced outright opposition to the project. Today's announcement regarding Kinder Morgan caused some to speculate Dix may be positioning his government-in-waiting to approve the Northern Gateway in the future. Although Dix clarified his party, if in power, will not cede decision making power on Northern Gateway to the federal government.
Polling over the years has consistently shown that, on average, 60 percent of British Columbians oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, while a recent poll finds that 57 percent of British Columbians oppose the Kinder Morgan plan.
Watch Adrian Dix's statement on Kinder Morgan: