Monday, 6 August 2012

The pipe to the future

Enbridge wants to build a pipeline from Alberta to the west Coast of British Columbia. They are touting this as a wonderful experience, a way forward for Canada.

A long time ago, I would have believed that this was a good idea. I would have known that the Masters at the helm of those tankers are competent, sober and on the bridge. I would have known that Enbridge wants to do it right, to make it safe, to ensure that the land is clean and habitable once the pipe is done. I would have known that the people who are making the decisions had my best interests in mind.

A long time ago when I was young and foolish.

That was then, today I see things a bit differently.

I know that the water ways leading to Kitimat (the seaward end of the pipeline) are beautiful, serene waters, teeming with wildlife. I know just how tight some of those passages are that need to be traversed because I have been there aboard a very manoeuvrable ship, manned by the best people on those ships. I have been there with the Master of the vessel on the bridge keeping a close eye on
everything. I shudder at the thought of seeing a tanker with very limited manoeuvrability go through some of those passages. One wrong order, one moment too long to respond to a change in the conditions and we have a disaster.

I have heard numerous reports of spills of the pipelines the Enbridge have built. For a month it seems
like everyday there was another report of 10,000 gallons here, or a river being flooded over there. Enbridge has made some vague promises of double strength over the river crossings and more monitoring and better response. And again, I see another 10,000 gallons spilt over there. Enbridge wants me to believe they can do better over a much harsher terrain.

I have seen the value of those who are making the decisions. Absolutely not is said one day, the next day it is we have some concerns, the next it is well they are going to get more money than we will.
What are they going to say tomorrow when  it gets reported that there are people who want the pipe run through their space.

All of this crap is being bandied about - one side saying boo hiss it is a disaster in the making, the other saying it will be safe, it will be clean, it will be good. The bottom line is that it will make little benefit to anyone but to China, where this oil will go. We stand waiting for the disaster to happen and for what? A few paltry dollars? Will that mean anything when the sea around our coast is dead? Will those who have no food, no lively hood be happy knowing that British Columbia will be making a few extra dollars?

Yesterday I saw things as I wanted to believe, today I am seeing them as they are

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