LETTER: Oil must be refined before being put on tankers

Send your letters to vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca

Construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline was completed in 1953. Few or no protests occurred during the construction phase nor during most of the 65 years it has been in operation. So why the protests that began when the company announced the proposed twinning of the existing pipeline?

RELATED: Regulator’s report, coming today, unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline battle

The principal opposition today is not directed toward the pipeline as such, but rather the product proposed to be transported through the line (diluted bitumen, also referred to as dirty oil or dilbit). The salient issue, in my view, is the transferring of dilbit onto tanks moving through our coastal waterways and the irreparable damage that will result from the inevitable spills that will occur. Many coastal First Nations communities also rely on the Salish Seas as a food source.

So, is there a solution for bringing an end to these continuing protests? If the dilbit was refined prior to being loaded onto ocean going vessels, either at Fort McMurray or somewhere near the tanker loading docks, I suspect the protests would be significantly reduced or might even disappear.

RELATED: Court rejects B.C.’s request to declare Alberta oil export law unconstitutional

Some detractors with balk at the large capital costs associated with building a new refinery at either of the locations referred to above. The revenue generated from the sale of refined products is however far greater than that generated from the sale of dilbit and would, in the long run, pay for a significant part of the cost of constructing the refinery.

An added benefit would be the hundreds of jobs created during the construction phase and the long term employment generated for those employed in operating the completed facility.

For more than half a century refined oil has been transported via the Trans Mountain Pipeline without any significant environmental damage or protests.

RELATED: TIMELINE: Key dates in the history of the Trans Mountain pipeline

Could we not return to those peaceful days of the past?

Barry Mayhew

Victoria

Just Posted

Almost 150 hectares purchased for parks in the CRD

Capital Regional District purchases two sites to increase park connectivity

Victoria shatters its oldest temperature record

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Yarns, string and human hair pose a risk to Greater Victoria birds

Wild ARC handles a number of entanglement cases each year

Volunteer garbage-picker regularly stuff bags with Prospect Lake Road litter

Resident says trash is an indicator of dangerous cut-through traffic

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps hires new chief of staff

Alison James will take over as head of strategy and operations on April 23

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Number of homeless deaths more than doubled in B.C. as opioid crisis set in

New data shows trend between more overdose deaths and the number of people dying in the street

Four people spat on in ‘random, unprovoked’ assaults: Vancouver police

Police ask additional victims to come forward after woman in a wheelchair spat on

Indian Day School students eligible for $10K apiece

Islanders included in settlement package reached with Canada’s federal government

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Most Read