By Roy L Hales
While most of us are attempting to do away with fossil fuels, British Columbia is trying to ramp up production. Some plan to make this most beautiful of Canadian provinces a major exporter of American coal and tar sands bitumen. One of the most promising natural gas fields in the world is in the north eastern corner of our province. Some aspects of this have been well publicized in the Canadian media, as every level of government – from our Prime Minister, to the Premier of BC, to individual municipalities – are involved. The Wilderness Committee have provided the best overview, a must-see Climate Change video: “Save the Salish Sea.”
“This is one of the most important places in the World to know about and care about Climate change,” begins narrator Eoin Madden, a Climate campaigner from the Wilderness Committee.
“The Salish Sea is poised to become one of the biggest regions for fossil fuel export in the World,” adds his colleague Torrance Coste.
They are referring to the planned increase of oil, coal and natural gas shipments passing out through BC’s ports to Asia. The capacity of coal terminals in North Vancouver, Delta and Surrey are being expanded, so that BC can become the biggest coal exporter in North America. Kinder Morgan wants to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline so that up to 890,000 barrels of tar sands oil can flow out through BC every year. There are already 80 tankers leaving Vancouver, that number could soon expanded to over 400. But the fossil fuel that BC’s premier, Christy Clark, has really been pumping is natural gas. She believes that the province has a trillion dollar opportunity ahead of it.
She told reporters that, “What oil has been to Alberta since the 1970s-80s is what LNG is going to be for British Columbia, nothing less than that. Energy output from LNG will likely be as big as the total energy output today from the oilsands.”
The Pembina Institute estimates that if BC proceeds with its plans to develop natural gas, it will soon have a carbon footprint similar to the oilsands as well. The province is required to cut CO2 emissions to 43 million tonnes a year by 2020, but is likely to produce more than 73 million tonnes if there is extensive LNG development – And that figure does not include additional contributions from the oil or coal sectors!
Most of that of those fossil fuels will pass through the Salish Sea. That has caused some alarm among those concerned about the impact a spill could have on BC’s tourist trade and fishing industry.
“For people who live along this body of water, there is going to be a marked difference in the near future,” said Eoin.
Save the Salish Sea is a battle cry for those who wish to resist the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. It is also a first rate video, that Ramshackle Pictures made for the Wilderness Committee.
“If we can stop this, we will be game changers in the fight against Climate Change,” said Torrance.
(Image at top of the Page: Image of Neptune Terminals, in North Vancouver, taken from Save the Salish Sea )