B.C. a playground for eco-stunts

If the propaganda flowing over “tar sands” crude shipments across B.C. were oil, the province would be out of deficit by now.

Oil tanker loads at Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

Oil tanker loads at Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

VICTORIA – If the propaganda flowing over “tar sands” crude shipments across B.C. were oil, the province would be out of deficit by now.

U.S.-funded professional environmentalists and their aboriginal partners lined up with the NDP last week to peddle a range of half-truths and falsehoods about proposals to pipe diluted bitumen from Alberta to a new port at Kitimat, where tankers would deliver it to Asian markets.

They staged a slick news conference in Vancouver where they claimed to have a seamless wall of aboriginal communities the length of B.C. opposing the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. A 10-year-old girl in a cedar bark hat warned of devastation to the coastal ecology, providing the kind of emotional visual that appeals to urban television audiences who know and care little about science or resource industries.

This event was co-ordinated with the publication of a report warning of huge risks from piping “tar sands” crude. The report was produced by the Natural Resource Defence Council, the Living Oceans Society and the Pembina Institute.

These three obscure organizations are among those identified by independent researcher Vivian Krause on her website. These and other environmental groups have received millions from U.S.-based foundations in recent years.

Here’s one of many examples of the money trail that Krause has followed. U.S. tax returns show the Pembina Institute and a B.C. environmental group were paid $200,000 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc. in 2006-07 “to prevent the development of a pipeline and tanker port” on the B.C. coast.

The same Rockefeller fund has investments in competing pipelines going south.

Documenting this huge money spill, Krause concludes that U.S. interests are working to stop Canada from exporting oil to Asia so the U.S. will be the only market available. They dress it up as environmentalism; we fall for it.

Not surprisingly, the latest “tar sands” scare report was seized on by the B.C. NDP.

“The pipeline goes over mountains, across farmland, over the Fraser and Skeena Rivers and straight through the Great Bear Rainforest to the Pacific, where it will be picked up by supertankers trying to navigate our inland coastal waters,” said NDP environment critic Rob Fleming.

Fleming parroted the report’s claim that diluted bitumen is more likely to cause corrosion in pipes and tankers.

Enbridge issued a statement refuting the study. Its oldest bitumen pipeline went into service in 1979, and “a complete metal loss inspection of this line in 2009 revealed no increased risk or incidence of internal corrosion.”

Oh, and the proposed pipeline route doesn’t cross the Fraser River. And claims of a huge increase in greenhouse gases from “tar sands” compared to conventional oil are grossly exaggerated. (The vast majority of emissions from all crude sources come when the refined fuel is burned to truck in your groceries or get you to work.)

B.C.’s own Wilderness Committee chimed in, but this eco-show was organized by the local branch office of San Francisco-based ForestEthics. Those are the folks who blessed us with the faux-aboriginal name “Great Bear Rainforest.”

A similar campaign is underway against expansion of the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, which brings Alberta oilsands crude to ships heading out under the Lions Gate bridge and winding through the Gulf and San Juan Islands to Asia.

Tankers have been loading “tar sands” oil in Burnaby for about six years now, but the enviro-propagandists didn’t notice until a couple of years ago. Up until then, Fleming and his colleagues raged about maintaining a “moratorium” on B.C. tanker traffic that never existed.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com

Just Posted

Alex Fiset and Cooper Oakes, both Grade 4, running to the finish, raising money for the ALS Society of B.C. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
John Muir students rally for ALS support

‘Hey ALS. Nobody likes you!’ the students yelled

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Helicopter crew members onboard HMCS Halifax conduct inflight refueling during Operation Reassurance in the Mediterranean Sea in 2020. Some of the military choppers flying around Greater Victoria recently are taking part in a special ops training exercise. (Photo by Cpl. Braden Trudeau/Trinity-Formation Imaging Services)
Special Ops exercise brings influx of helicopters to Victoria

Ontario-based air force unit comes to Victoria to train over ocean

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read