Of Model “T”s, Wright Brothers … and Pipelines

I don’t really LIKE the idea of pipelines gouging their way though our forests and rivers and pristine mountains … but I DO want to get in my car (or a taxi) and drive to the airport so I can fly off on my next vacation or to a family event … and I’d prefer to keep the  jobs and revenues, royalties and taxes in Canada to get the gasoline so I can do all that.

And I also want the fuel we need for millions of others … and the jobs and revenues that flow with it … to come from Canada.

Stagecoaches just won’t cut it!

Henry Ford knew that and brought us the gasoline-powered Model “T” in 1908 … even though many at the time warned that people would die as a result of that overhyped speedster capable of warp speeds of up to 45 miles per hour!

In fact, the FIRST motor vehicle fatality actually took place well before that, in Ireland in 1869 when Mary Ward fell from a steam-operated motorized carriage and was crushed when the rear iron wheels rolled over her.

Insanity, cried the horse and buggy fans!  More people will die!  And they were right …  not just on the pot-holed dirt and gravelled roads of the time but in HUGE numbers comparatively after the Model “T”s took to the streets and public officials encouraged the madness (and corporate profits!!) by paving streets, then roads and eventually …at huge costs …highways linking cities!

The critics were right!  MANY MANY more died …thousands and, over time, hundreds of thousands, as the gasoline flowed and vehicle speeds continued to climb into … who knows where it will stop!

But I think, although Vancouver’s Vision council may beg to differ,  the car is here to stay …despite its human and environmental costs.

Why? Because despite its several flaws, the overall benefit to society has been an enormously positive one.

And I’m sure the Wright Brothers would agree.

Remember them?  And what many, many believed was an impossible, insane, highly dangerous silly effort for man to fly like the birds.

People would die, the concerned citizens warned!  And why do it?  We already had cars (capable of speeds up to SIXTY MILES AN HOUR!!!  And trucks too. And trains, rolling across the entire continent … efficient, even luxurious, and … relatively … environmentally friendly.

Once more the critics of flight were right: people died!!!  The first being Lieut. Thomas Selfridge who, in 1908 didn’t listen to the naysayers and took off with Orville Wright on an ill-fated flight that crashed into the ground, injuring Wright,  killing Selfridge and spewing gasoline all over the ground..

Stop the madness, the ground-lovers demanded.  Before more died!

Once again, THEY were right: planes kept getting bigger and bigger … first six seats, then 10 right up to, when I was a kid, the humungous Vanguard … 100 seats: truly a risky venture, especially after a smaller Air Canada Viscount had crashed on a flight to the U.S…. once again killing a passenger and spewing gasoline all around the accident site.

Yes,  people have continued to die and crashes have continued to damage the land and harm the environment: yet the planes kept getting bigger, the fatalities can now number in the hundreds at a time and the environmental impact … even when planes do not crash  … is well documented.

Yet more and more of us are flying … not because we don’t understand the risks or impacts, but because aviation is now an integral part of our existence.

And so are pipelines.

We don’t like them; we worry about their impact … on the environment, on wildlife and even on people … but we all USE the crude (or should that be crud) they carry.

Is it fair that we demand other countries bear all the costs … environmental included … to get us the oil supplies we use? Is it environmentally defensible that we demand that oil be shipped thousands of miles across the sea to serve our needs, but don’t want to ship any of OUR oil across the sea to others?  Or that we don’t want pipelines from Alberta to bring us oil serve our own domestic needs here?

Not to mention the BILLIONS of dollars in revenues, royalties., income and retail sales taxes and the thousands of  manufacturing, supply and construction jobs already tied to  Alberta oil sands projects.  Or the huge numbers of jobs … direct and indirect …tied to any pipeline project (East or West) inherent in the construction, maintenance and, yes, repair, of such huge pipelines, including rare opportunites for First Nations Canadians to get good paying jobs close to home too.

The critics ARE right: there WOULD be pipeline spills; there WOULD be accidents and environmental impacts.

BUT effective systems CAN be put in place  to MINIMIZE any incidents or damage … and when they still happen (and they will) they can be repaired, mitigated and, where warranted,  even prosecuted. And resource companies must be required to restore lands they impact in their operations.

However, the truth is … like the Model T and the Wright Brothers … despite the risks and problems, the need and the overall benefits from pipelines OVERWHELMINGLY override the fears of those who oppose them.

Unless we’re all prepared to substantially reduce our use of oil.

And bring back the stagecoach.

Harv Oberfeld

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81 Responses to Of Model “T”s, Wright Brothers … and Pipelines

  1. Grant G says:

    Harvey, you are oh so wrong again..

    First off, Canada imports 870,000 barrels per day for domestic use, fill that need first before any pipeline is built for export.

    Alberta tar sands are subsidized to the tune of $billions per year..Alberta is also running $billion dollar deficits..

    BC will, would receive ZERO for taking the risk..

    And when a super tanker wrecks we will lose our commercial(forever sustainable) fishery as well as extinct countless species.

    A very poorly written article devoid of real thought, electric cars are coming, actually they`re here,.

    Tar sands whores have no concern over our well-being..It`s about corporate profits for the few.

    And, why don`t you google up…EROI

    It might open your eyes, however I doubt it..

  2. R.W says:

    Very hard to get to all those protest rallies with no gas in your vehicle?????? I really do not think people understand what they are protesting. We need the fuel, jobs and tax money for everyday life

  3. DT says:

    Hey Harv,

    I do read and enjoy your blog lots, but I have to disagree with this post. You can still have your cars and your vacations if we invest in cleaner forms of energy that don’t cost the environment as much as fuel and gas are costing.

    What if we took those billions of dollars that are currently being used on tar sands and oil digging and spent them instead on developing cleaner forms of energy and subsidizing electric cars and other future technologies that can help save us in the future. Oil is a temporary solution because let’s face it, one day there won’t be any left so why invest in something that we know is finite?

    Thx for being honest though.

    (Response: We should be spending a lot more on new fuel alternatives… but most still can’t afford or don’t find electric cars ready for prime time. The time may come … and I wish the government put more emphasis on that…but right now and in the forseeable future, we still need the oil …and I beleive it’s fairer and wiser to use our own and export it if others need it too. h.o)

  4. Mags says:

    We need clean air, we need clean water. Those thing s are VITAL to our existance. I would LIKE to drive my car and I would LIKE to fly on vacation too. Those are wants..hard to distnguish the difference these days I realize as everyone cries need when they mean want. Just because you can’t see the answer to the crude addiction (and yes it IS an addiction) doesn’t mean you should cash in everything else and stop looking for it. This is like the cry of the junkie that its impossible to get off heroine simply because he/she doesn’t like or can’t see life without it….but it DOES exist. Lets FIND the answer of how to keep some of the luxuries we have sustainable rather than using those luxuries as the reason to cash in on our own health….

    (Response: No amount of realistic conservation efforts will eliminate the need for oil …a lot of it. And it’s simple: the best way to move it in huge quantities is by pipeline. h.o)

  5. SB says:

    Somewhat agree but also agree with original version Premier Loughheed had saying we should develop our own industry process and sell in Canada maximize employment and profits , designate an area safely as we can use the best environmental practices and send partially refined products for export and only after proper public input and with respect to dealing with spills or emergencies do the work first , its simple as can be – a failure to prepare an emergency plan is a plan to fail.

    (Response: Sure, meet domestic demand first and foremost…but even that requires pielines to get the crud out. And if there’s billions of dollars worth extra to export, there are MANY people, esp up north who can use the jobs and many communities that can will welcome the revenues from those companies and those workers. h.o)

  6. Dave LeBlanc says:

    Oil companies and polluters don’t pay their bills after spills. Instead, they mitigate cleanup costs and PR imaging instead of proactively minimizing damage to the environment, then litigate claims into the ground until they break the backs of communities, businesses and individuals. After 12 years in a US court over the Nestucca Spill and being the last one standing, they still didn’t pay and there is no way to make them pay.

    It’s a fool’s errand to espouse pipelines as some magic bullet to solve the problems with economy, environment and transportation.

    Sorry Harvey, you’ve got wrong this time. You’ve taken a broad view of a narrowminded issue.

    Be well my friend,

    (Response: I wouldn’t object to better rules protecting the environment, cracking down of violators and requiring oil companies to rehabilitate areas where they have extracted resources. And heavy fines for failure to live yup to licensing requirements. But that’s a different problem than just getting the supply … and keeping it real, pipelines are the way to go in that regard, even though none of us will ever grow to love them. h.o)

  7. Scotty on Denman says:

    We already got gas at the pumps; we don’t need no steenking pipeline across BC, we don’t need no steenking tankers plying our inside passages.

    Repeat: fuel we use doesn’t come from a tar pipeline across BC. When the tar pipeline proposal is finally shut down, they’ll still be fuel at the pumps. Our supply of gasoline has nothing, nothing whatsoever, to do with the Enbridge proposal. Moreover, objections to the tar pipeline proposal are due mostly to the risk of a tanker spill in coastal waters, not to the risk of a pipeline leak on land.

    Enbridge has decided to ignore the obstacles blocking the proposed tar pipeline. But, even if their $5 million ad campaign won over everyone, the proposal cannot overcome First Nations’ constitutional right to a negotiated treaties for un-ceded lands in BC, rights that trump any government statute or legislation, rights affirmed and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Any of us can commit to reducing our use of fossil fuels, but it has nothing to do with the tar pipeline.

    (Response: And where does the gas now at the pump come from? Through pipelines? Ships? You can’t stop the world …we will need the supply as we continue to grow and the only way to get it from within our borders is by pipeline. Let’s face it: we’re never going to go back to a society of bicycles, buses or buckboards. h.o

  8. Diverdarren says:

    Even the gears of a wind turbine are lubricated with petrochemicals. Oil is the West drug, we know it’s bad for us but we’ll do anything to get more of it. The world needs it, we have it, better us than the oil money going to the Mid East.

    But oil companies cant be trusted, they will always put profits first. That’s great, it’s what companies should do, but oil is so powerful that they can’t be regulated. Governments can end up in the pocket of big oil, and regulations are only as strong as the government that enforces them.

    I can’t blame people for fighting oil development in their back yards. They are willing to sacrifice the revenue, jobs, prosperity, and simply moving our civilization forward in favour of keeping oil out.

    I say that the sacrifice to the oil industry is reasonable and necessary for the West to succeed. But one look at Fort McMurry will tell you what the cost and benefit is when you get in bed with oil.

    (Response: That’s another issue. I believe the oil companies are crooks ..ripping us off at the pump just as much as our governments do. Notice how the price of a barrel is down to the mid $80s, but prices at the pump are still almost what they were when it was over $100. The proof is in the profits reported by oil companies each year …higher and higher than ever…hard proof of the ripoff but no government has the backbone to take them on …least of all the Tories. But that’s all about price …pipelines are about supplying the needs and even though we don’t have to like them, we should acknowledge we need them. h.o)

  9. tf says:

    Nope, it’s not worth it.
    We’re finally at the stage of unlimited growth where the risks outweigh the benefits.
    I mourn the loss of easy flight and unhampered travel but those days are gone. I rarely fly, my passport has expired, BC ferries misses me – because I no longer will adhere to the security state.
    I’m quite happy actually ~ but I do miss the islands…

    (Response: That may work for you, but millions of others live differently; they do trave on vacations, business or to see family, take the ferries etc. and as our population, mobiltiy and economy grows ..those numbers will rise, not diminish and like it or not, we will need the oil. h.o)

  10. kootcoot says:

    Grant is correct, Harv. It isn’t a matter of either -or, but more a question of why and how. Why not build a pipeline east, over safer and easier ground and use existing refineries in Ontario, or even better yet, refine it in Alberta and send cleaner, and easier to pump (and clean up after) value added product through the pipe. No need for two way shipment of the toxic crap used to dilute the tarry goo.

    By shipping OUR petroleum, in whatever form to Eastern Canada, we avoid having to import almost a billion barrels of the same from dem mean sheiks that don’t treat their wimmens properly, or as Ezra might say, Ethical Oil for Eastern Canada. Let me be Harper like and say “to be clear,” none of the proposed pipelines Keystone XL, Enbridge Gateway nor the proposed expansion to Burrard Inlet are about providing fuel (or lubricant) for your car Harvey. Only shipping the goo, or refined product, to Eastern Canada does anything for Canadian drivers.

    Enbridge (yep, those guys) has pretty well walked away from their spill of tarry goo from Ft Mack on the Kalamazoo River, as they find it too hard, or expensive, to retrieve the heavy toxic crap from the river bottom. This is a small spill in an easily accessed location, thanks to Harper’s attack on environmental monitoring and data collection, we might not even ever know of a spill on one of the thousand or so waterways that may or may not still be classified as having fish, in Northern BeeCee. I guess if the Harper minister decides the fish in any given river aren’t really relevant, a spill doesn’t really matter and there is always bottled water for us humans (?).

    (Response: Shipping it east will still require pipelines thousand of miles long. And we will still need LOTS of oil /gas here. That’s my point; there’s no realistic way to avoid pielines …just make sure they’re done as cleanly as possible and encourage other ways to diminish our use of fossile fuels. But pipelines are a reality and unless we’re prepared to give up on gasoline powered vehicles etc. we must get that oil …and bteer to keep the jobs and revenues in Canada than keep shipping BILLIONS overseas. h.o)

  11. Julie says:

    When electric cars become more reasonably priced, many citizens will have them.

    There is renewable energy technology out there. However, they don’t want to bring the petroleum industry down.

    I saw a program on China. I certainly don’t want to have to wear a respirator to breathe. I am asthmatic and I would definitely have to wear one. Every other person in Chinese cities, wears a mask. The smog is so thick there, they can see a very only a short distance ahead.

    I now prefer to live out of cities now. I very seldom use my car, in fact, I am selling it. I grow my own garden. I buy my meats, eggs and even home baked bread, through the underground. It’s wonderful to be able to buy chickens, with no horrible globs of yellow fat, folded under them. Vegetable and fruit, don’t smell of mold. Strawberries aren’t moldy and aren’t like slicing a piece of wood.

    They say, China’s pollution even drifts as far as Canada. Can you imagine China, burning the dirty oil sands oil? I don’t even want to think about it.

    (Response: I agree electric vehicles would be great…once the price comes down and there are lots of places to charge them. As for China, I was there years ago and could not believe the POLLUTION …in the air and in the water … made the smogged up Fraser Valley look pristine! h.o)

  12. DonGar says:

    Thanks again for keeping it real.

  13. jenables says:

    Ah, yet another issue with oil, and doesn’t it just blow your mind to know the technologies that would enable us to use oil much, much more cheaply and efficiently are being completely oppressed by the powers that be? Such a shame..

    (Response: We should encourage alternative sources of energy…but in the meantime, we need oil to run our machines and assist in our lives, and there’s no way to get it to market without taking some risks. h.o)

  14. Dave LeBlanc says:

    Thank you for the mindful response, Harvey. Just so you and your readers know, I’m not anti-pipeline. I was discouraged by the rejection of Keystone (afterall Texas can handle it and we mitigate pollution in Canada) and have no objection to pipeline reversals (ie) sending oil east. However, putting oil in a boat at sea is fraught with perils beyond anyone’s imagination or platitudes. You know as well as I do Harvey, the last time this happened on our coast, it was a dog and pony show by both government and the polluter. It’s the underwriters who need to step up to protect citizens, instead of companies or politicians.

    (Response: I agree. Polluters of all kinds must be made to pay FULLY for any damage they do. But my point remains: Canada is a growing country; we will need oil for many more decades, despite all the efforts we should support at getting alternatives, and we have oil, so we should tap it and use it … and pipelines are the best way to get it out to refineries and the market. h.o)

  15. Grant G says:

    Easy for you Harvey to espouse continued pollution, you will be long since dead, who gives a flying F*&^ about future generations eh?..All is good as long as you can fly to some island paradise..Those paradises will soon be under water.

    How much Harvey? How much money did Enbridge offer you to write this tripe?

    You, as I stated before were in favour of killing Fish Lake…Do we need trinkets of gold too?

    Exxon mobile, the world`s wealthiest country still haven`t paid their fines on the Exxon Valdez spill..The fishery in the gulf was decimated with BP`s spill..Red Deer is trucking in drinking water…

    And as for your other assertion, travel is down on cruise ships, airlines,, 25 year lows on BC Ferries..even gasoline use is down in Europe and USA..That as populations increase

    Bike lane basher..green energy basher..First nation basher…I imagine you were against recycling too..

    And when the oceans collapse through acidification so will mankind..

    Wallyworld?…No, Harvey Oberfeld world, where facts, statistics and commonsense are tossed out the window and replaced with stories of car crashes and animated Enbridge ads

    Well Done

    (Response: Thanks. h.o)

  16. Grant G says:

    “The U.S. Geological Service said Friday that Venezuela’s oil-rich Orinoco Belt holds 513 billion barrels of recoverable oil — far more reserves than originally estimated.

    The assessment, the U.S. government agency says, is the first to identify how much oil is technically recoverable using currently available technologies and methods. Previous projections estimated the quantity of available reserves in the area, located in eastern Venezuela, at between 230 billion to 300 billion barrels of heavy oil.

    The area contains “the largest accumulation ever assessed” by the U.S. Geologic Service, the agency said.”


    “In fact the existence of vast reserves of oil and gas in shale formations, mainly in the United States, combined with the return of the oil price to $US100 a barrel without, so far, causing a global recession, is producing a profound transformation of energy markets.

    Forget declining oil, there is a new global oil rush. The US has an estimated 2 trillion barrels of shale oil reserves?—?about 70% of the world’s total and eight times the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. The gas reserves, in the US, Australia and elsewhere, are vast.”


    There are no oil shortages Harvey, the world doesn`t need OUR oil, pretty sad card your playing ..That being we are being a good neighbor by supplying oil..

    And as a final thought, a decade of “Full bore” TAR sand development and Canada is deeper in debt, Canadians are drowning in debt, all-time high debt levels…Another decade of Harveynomics and we`ll all be living on the streets.

    (Response: So let the rest of the world rake in all the money, get all the jobs, taxes and royalties …and then sell it to us at world prices: and how exactly would that help provide jobs in Canada, money for our health care, hospitals, education, highways, transit, all kinds of other services we keep demanding? And how would THEY get it to us …by huge ships also endangering the coasts. So what’s the benefit to us? h.o)

  17. Larry Bennett says:

    Harvey, you are just too commonsensical for most of your readers. I don’t own a vehicle, because, mostly, I can’t really afford one, plus the fact that in the lower mainland you can get along without one. There are thousands of people living around the province who have few, if any options on getting to work, picking up the groceries, and etc.. For that matter, there are no government subsidized living spaces, unless you happen to be native, or possibly, an abused woman. This is true in most cities in the Interior, and is part of the reason that Greater Vancouver is so populous.

    (Response: Thanks. I needed that! 🙂 I knew when I wrote it many people would be upset, but I think there’s enough out there just trying to keep it real: and we know we NEED oil; we NEED some way to get it to our refineries; and pipelines are an integral efficient weay of getting the crud out. And yes, if we can get some money to fund all the programs and services we demand, we can even EXPORT some of it. And gain a few thousand badly needed jobs in the process. h.o)

  18. George says:

    Harv, have to strongly disagree with you here. When the first oil (crud) tanker goes aground off of Kitimat and leaks (and one will) or that pipeline breaks and leaks (and it will) will you be he one to tell the fishery people on the coast that their livelihood is gone forever or when that pipeline leaks a SUBSTANTIAL amount of the tar ( remember this is not oil ) into pristine watersheds and forests are you going to be the one to tell the locals. There are pipeline, yes, but they should not be operated in such sensitive areas, your playing with a loaded gun here not a toy. An example of this is the recent spill in Alberta that made the news (notice the spin doctors have silenced that one too) that oil has polluted the Red Deer River , it was a line no longer in use apparently by the company forgotten about probably and we just tisk tisk at the damage done. Pipelines have their place but not across environmentally sensitive areas and certainly not by Enbridge simply because of their horrendous record or problems. If and that is a HUGE if the industry cleaned up it’s act and didn’t have a government it it’s back pocket then maybe I could see where your coming from but as I see it now you have a pair of blinders on and your fingers crossed. As long as one continues to live in the lower mainland and in a cocoon then I guess it does not matter about the rest of this province but for us in the outback it’s a fear we live with every day. As for your point about jobs, China has expressed an interest in building the Enbridge line , ahh don’t you just love it, guaranteed there won’t be one native hired on a permanent basis and the lasting effects will be permanent of a detriment form. We are in the process of selling our future by exporting our raw resources ( logs, oil, minerals) for short term gain for large companies. If the government were truly interested we would see refineries in Alberta, lumber mills working but alas it is all for greed for huge mega corporations destroying my children’s futures. Hope you live long in that world of yours Harv.

    (Response: The ecology and the environment EVERYWHERE is sensitive and we should do everything we can to try and protect it. And as I sad, there have been many accidents with cars and planes and all kinds of other technologies ..but because the overall benefit to society supercedes the very rare, but nonetheless terrible accidents that occur, we cannot turn our backs on those potential huge benefits. h.o)

  19. Hans Goldberg says:

    Harvey, tar sands and the liquidizer needed to transport it through pipelines is a “Dangerous Good” and should be handled accordingly. It is not suitable to move through pipelines as they are constructed now.
    It is a fact, oil companies have an abhorrent record of cleaning up spills. Just an example, Excon has not paid one lousy penny over 20 years after the Alaska spill. Enron had a spill of tar sands in Michigan. They where completely unprepared, and completely failed at any clean up.
    The devastation of just one spill, one tanker would change life as we know it on our coast for ever. This risk is completely unacceptable.

    (Response: Well, unless we’re all prepared to store our cars in the garage, stop flying anywhere, using oil to heat homes or run industry…we do need to get it from somewhere … and you can bet that will involve pipelines and huge tankers and risks that we can try best to manage. But I think it’s unfair to expect others to do the dirty work … and also deny Canaidans the jobs, revenues and royalties than can go a long way to boosting our economy and paying for the more and more services we keep demanding. h.o)

  20. Larry Bennett says:

    I recall they said that the B.P. spill in the Caribbean would be the end of life as we know it in that area, and possibly all Atlantic ports, fisheries, tourism etc.. It seems that Mother Nature knows how to look after things better than we knew! Things may take a while to get back to normal, but the predictions have proved to be far less disastrous than assumed. I’m sure this has happened in the past because of eruptions and earthquakes and God knows what, over several millennia, but still we survive. When was the last time you heard about the huge Alaska spill? Yes it is a disaster but we improve on our methods daily.

    (Response: Exactly. We must do everything possible to eliminate or reduce environmental damage: as I said, accidents will still happen but the examples you cite are proof that, despite all the doomsday voices (Ford and Wright faced them as well) as bad and ugly as disasters can be, areas can and do come back. h.o)

  21. Grant G says:

    Any facts Larry Bennett?…Typical Tsakuminator commenter.

    Here are some facts Larry and Harvey..


    Did BP Oil Make Shrimp Lose Their Eyes?

    —By Tom Philpott
    | Wed Nov. 23, 2011 1:51 PM PST



    Little more than a year after BP oil disaster, seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is “as safe to eat as it was before the oil spill,” the FDA insists on its website.

    But along the Gulf itself, questions linger within the very fishing communities that rely on the Gulf’s bounty both for sustenance and a living, as this CNN report shows (video below). For one thing, shrimp populations have plunged. The New York Times reported last month that Gulf fisherperople were complaining of the worst white-shrimp season in 50 years, with yields 80 percent lower than normal.

    Several fisherman and processors make similar complaints in the CNN piece, and admit that they feel less safe eating shrimp now than they did before the spill. One makes an even more startling claim (see 2:47 mark of the video): “fisherman are bringing in shrimp without any eyes … they evidently have lost their eyes and they’re still alive.”



    The Gulf Ecosystem Is Being Decimated

    The BP oil spill started on April 20, 2010. We’ve previously warned that the BP oil spill could severely damage the Gulf ecosystem.

    Since then, there are numerous signs that the worst-case scenario may be playing out:

    New York Times: “Gulf Dolphins Exposed to Oil Are Seriously Ill, Agency Says

    MSNBC: Gulf shrimp scarce this season (and see the Herald Tribune‘s report)

    Mother Jones: Eyeless shrimp are being found all over the Gulf

    NYT: Oil Spill Affected Gulf Fish’s Cell Function, Study Finds

    CBS:Expert: BP spill likely cause of sick Gulf fish (and see the Press Register’s report)

    Study confirms oil from Deepwater spill entered food chain

    Pensacola News Journal: “Sick fish” archive

    Agence France Presse: Mystery illnesses plague Louisiana oil spill crews

    MSNBC: Sea turtle deaths up along Gulf, joining dolphin trend

    MSNBC:Exclusive: Submarine Dive Finds Oil, Dead Sea Life at Bottom of Gulf of Mexico

    AP: BP oil spill the culprit for slow death of deep-sea coral, scientists say (and see the Guardian and AFP‘s write ups)

    A recent report also notes that there are flesh-eating bacteria in tar balls of BP oil washing up on Gulf beaches



    Don`t let those pesky facts get in the way of your ideology..Eh Larry

  22. Grant G says:

    The Gulf Ecosystem Is Being Decimated

    The BP oil spill started on April 20, 2010. We’ve previously warned that the BP oil spill could severely damage the Gulf ecosystem.

    Since then, there are numerous signs that the worst-case scenario may be playing out:

    New York Times: “Gulf Dolphins Exposed to Oil Are Seriously Ill, Agency Says

    MSNBC: Gulf shrimp scarce this season (and see the Herald Tribune‘s report)

    Mother Jones: Eyeless shrimp are being found all over the Gulf

    NYT: Oil Spill Affected Gulf Fish’s Cell Function, Study Finds

    CBS:Expert: BP spill likely cause of sick Gulf fish (and see the Press Register’s report)

    Study confirms oil from Deepwater spill entered food chain

    Pensacola News Journal: “Sick fish” archive

    Agence France Presse: Mystery illnesses plague Louisiana oil spill crews

    MSNBC: Sea turtle deaths up along Gulf, joining dolphin trend

    MSNBC:Exclusive: Submarine Dive Finds Oil, Dead Sea Life at Bottom of Gulf of Mexico

    AP: BP oil spill the culprit for slow death of deep-sea coral, scientists say (and see the Guardian and AFP‘s write ups)

    A recent report also notes that there are flesh-eating bacteria in tar balls of BP oil washing up on Gulf beaches

    And all of that lovely Corexit dispersant sprayed on water, land and air? It inhibits the ability of microbes to break down oil, and allows oil and other chemicals to speed past the normal barriers of human skin. Background here. NYT: Impact of Gulf Spill’s Underwater Dispersants Is Examined Speaking on the chemical ingredients of the dispersants used, “The report finds that “Of the 57 ingredients: 5 chemicals are associated with cancer; 33 are associated with skin irritation from rashes to burns; 33 are linked to eye irritation; 11 are or are suspected of being potential respiratory toxins or irritants; 10 are suspected kidney toxins; 8 are suspected or known to be toxic to aquatic organisms; and 5 are suspected to have a moderate acute toxicity to fish.”

    If you still don’t have a sense of the devastation to the Gulf, American reporter Dahr Jamail lays it out pretty clearly:

  23. John's Aghast says:

    You lose Harvey. Your argument just supports Paul Martin and his Canadian Steamships, ie haul our tar across one ocean and someone else’s across another ocean.
    Of course we need oil. We should use what we have INTERNALLY. Ship the excess if need be, AFTER it has been processed into a non-dangerous product.
    Pipelines across the easily accessed Prairies make sense. Pipelines across BC’s northern hinterlands don’t. Especially if you’re going to ship the shit down our dangerous coast.
    Put the $7 BILLION cost of Endbridge into refinery construction. Or build 20 more twice-as-long BCR’s worth $0.5 Billion each (that’s what we got for it, isn’t it?) and rail it across the Country. And if the stuff ever becomes superfluous because cars don’t need it any more we can still use it to make fertilizer and women’s beauty products.

    (Response: Sure ..use it all inside our borders, but even that needs pipelines and I suspect the economies of scale for such a major project might require some exports as well. And although shipping it east or south might be preferential I think we’d have to guard against …once the pipelines are fully built ..Ontario and Quebec or the US could have too much arbitrary power over Western Canada’s resources. h.o)

  24. D. M. Johnston says:

    I must first say that I am against the Embridge pipeline, simply for the fact that we are exporting our children’s future, so a few Conservative friends can make big, big money.

    In an age of “Peak” oil, it is foolish beyond the extreme that the Canadian Government would allow the export of any oil products. But today’s government is all about Corporatism and making big bucks for multi national corporations and that’s it.

    As for jobs, maybe for a few years, but I believe that the jobs creates promises by politicians and those supporting the pipeline are vastly overstated.

    We live in the age of global greed, where governments, for the sake of a few dollars more, will destroy our country’s ability to survive in the coming years.

    Keep the damn stuff in the ground and let my grandchildren benefit and not Embridge, China, or the government of the day.

    (Response: And if you do that..do you not think it will still be BIG corporations that get the stuff out then too and big business will still make a lot of money? This is not the stuff of volunteers or community groups. I’m not necessarily in favor of exporting it either, but even if we use it all at home, we’ll still need pipelines to get it to refineries and to market, not matter when we do it. h.o)

  25. Don F. says:

    Harvey, in all your responses you repeat that we need the benifits. Can you specifically tell us what you see as the benifit to Canadians of the Gateway project?
    As far as I know we canadians subsidize the petroleum industry billions ayear and we have for years, why would there be the need for that?
    The Alberta tar sands could cease to exist tommorrow and the only difference we would see to Canadians is less subsidies from our pockets!
    Please point out to us and explain the massive benifits you say are forthcoming and please do this in reference and in particular to the northern gateway project. And please back any claims you may have with some facts.
    I am having trouble with your lack of foresight regarding this issue!

    (Response: Actually, if you read my blog you’ll note I did not specifically advocate for the gateway project in particular… but in favour of pipelines as a means of getting our oil and gas to refineries and/or to market. As for the benefits…do you think they build themsleves? There are thousands of potential jobs in not only extractin g the oil but in manufacturing the pipe, the equipment needed to dig and entrench the lines, the vehicles used in the process. the services and supplies needed to equip, house, feed the construction, maintenance crews. Don’t ask me …ask the people who work up there in the fields and who would love ot have those jobs I’ve mentioned. Is it better to have all those jobs in other countries? As for gateway, IF it can be done safely and produce all the jobs above, why not? Easy to pooh-pooh such projects if YOUR income doesn’t depend on the resource industries. But I care about those who do …and I’d bet the royalties and taxes it could all bring in could go a long way to helping our schools, hospitals and other public services .h.o)

  26. E.W says:

    Excellent article! The reactions …another
    example of the lefties going stupid……
    Electric cars, maybe, just what is required to
    manufacture a battery and then disposing of it
    at the end of its life cycle. Another source of energy is
    required to recharge that battery. Where is this
    energy going to come from, dinosaur farts..
    Electric power will never replace the energy
    required to operate an airplane. Most of your
    readers just can’t reason the methodology
    of science and nature. They talk about alternitive
    energy but really have no solutions that make any

    (Response: Funny thing is that it’s often the same people who oppose ANY large projects who also demand better and expanded government services in health care, poverty, the homeless, education, transportation etc etc. Where do they expect the huge revenues needed to come from …if not from extracting our natural resources? h.o)

  27. tf says:

    That’s my point Harvey –
    Do you think I want to stop travelling?
    No, I’d rather keep doing what millions are still doing – burning oil as I whisk around the world – but the earth can’t sustain it.
    Our economy is an ever-growing tumour and I think that we need to fail to recover. The number of people will not rise if we continue on this way.
    The 99% will eventually be reduced to human-powered locomotion with the other 1% flashing their AMEX card to bypass the bipeds – there’s only so much to go around and I’m pretty sure I won’t be at the table. Will you?

    (Response: We do have to develop and encourage alternate energy sources …but in the meantime … we need oil and gas and I think it’s unfair that we ask other countries to absorb all the production/delivery risks to serve our needs but we don’t want to do any of the “dirty” work ourselves. Or get any of the cash that work can provide for thousands of Canadian families. h.o)

  28. Don F. says:

    Harvey, all of the examples of benifits you provide could remain and in fact two fold by refining that oil in Canada and getting it to Canadian pumps, long lasting jobs that go beyong digging trenches and laying pipes.
    None of those jobs would go to other counties as you imply but be secured for many years in the future not just for the building of one pipeline.
    I truly don’t understand your logic here?
    Do I want to see these jobs lost?…certainly not but I would like to see them Canadian and for the long run.
    In your response to EW you put it that “Where do they expect the huge revenue needed to come from.. if not from the extracting our natural resources?’
    I would say to you that it is not in the extracting of these resources where the problem lies but in the negligent and irresponsible way we use them after extracting that therein lies the problem.
    Your article is laden with examples of how progress before has caused death and a price, are we really willing to take that to the level of a tanker spill on our coast?
    Hopefully not!

    (Response: And exactly how would you get the oil from Alberta to a refinery? Pipelines! As for consuming it all domestically, I’d have no problem with that … if the economics would support that. But what’s wrong with exporting some of it to the US at least? And to other countries also that need it, and are willing to pay fair prices for it? As long as we protect the environment, the workers and communities as well. h.o)

  29. Grant G says:

    Still waiting for your proof of benefits coming to BC…Ever been to our northern coast Harvey?..Breaching whales, vibrant ocean teeming with life, teeming life that`s been there for millions of years..

    We can`t drink oil or breathe bitumen..

    How come Canada`s debt is skyrocketing, 2 decades of massive resource development and Canada is broke, we can`t afford a coast guard or boat safety training, individual Canadians have never been deeper in debt..

    Lastly, no one who is real close to being dead and buried should be allowed to voice opinion on major environmental issues, those decisions should go to the age group 20 to 40 years of age..


    Lastly Harvey, your post is so sad, devoid of hope, devoid of future thinking, enough sunlight hits the earth each day to power the people`s energy needs for a year, there`s enough tidal energy, wind energy, yes you scoff, the failure in green energy projects is allowing corporate greed to control it, take the profit factor out and replace it with pay for itself..

    This story is burn baby burn, it`s all there is, burn it, crash it, pollute it, I`m sad for you Harvey..

    You no longer “dare to dream” ..

    You wallow in grease and care only of yourself and your cheap vacation.

    I would add..R.I.P…..Except you too will be turned into combustion oil.

  30. Larry Bennett says:

    Well, Grant, there are some that think that every bit of drivel from MSNBC is Gospel (mostly the dorky-lefty sort) and there are those who take it with a grain of salt. We survived the Industiral Revolution when hydrocarbons were pumped out in tons by the minute and how many oil slicks did we have during the great wars? God knows, but somehow we survived, and we will continue to if we use common sense.
    Blind shrimp! Good grief!

  31. mariner says:

    There is so much more to consider Harvey – Canada is being sold out for pennies on the dollar.
    Harper is prepared to risk Canada’s stable internal conditions to appease the Chinese government !!
    Canadian’s don’t have a say in how the live ?
    British Columbia takes all the risks and gets none of the benifits ?

    Come on Harvey, your post doesn’t do anything but inflame patriotic passion for the country that Canadians live in.

    Big oil does not dictate what I do with my life – nor should it to Canada. Unfortunately, we have an extremist, right wing, radical religious prime minister who goes after anyone who does not agree with his point of view, promoting the “Northern Gateway Pipeline” and the Alberta tar sands as a whole – remember he is our Alberta prime minister to boot.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with refining the tar sands product in Alberta – let the oil companies spend the money and build more refineries. The money and benifits then get to stay in Canada.

    How about using Canadian produced crude to make diesel and gasolene for domestic use instead of importing from the middle east etc.

    Politics has many heads and this situation is loaded with it.

    I can guarantee you one thing – Canadians will not stand by and let the dictator Stephen Harper ruin Canada to enrich already obscenely rich oil companies. I know I will do my utmost to prevent the tar sands products being piped through British Columbia – which is incidently, more earth quake prone than any other region of Canada (read disasterous spills through ruptured pipelines). I am approaching seventy years of age and no, Harper does not frighten me or even make sense a lot of the time – his logic is so mixed up with his religious ideology, that he is a liability to this country.

    The general consensus seems to be that the Northern Gateway Project is NOT NEEDED, though pipe lines are, when built in a responsible mannner and managed by a company with an impecable maintenance record. Enbridge certainly does not qualify and should not be allowed to go ahead with this assualt on British Columbia and it’s environment.

    I have said enough and yes I drive a pickup – I need to as I live outside of the big cities and do not have the benifit of local transportation services. So yes, I need and use oil, but common sense should reign – not oil company propaganda and rhetoric.

    (Response: Sifting through the anti-Harper rhetoric, I agree with you that the best solution is to refine and use Canadian oil in Canada. But then how do you get it out to markets across Canada or the US? Trucking it all would be so hugely expensive and cause even more pollution … lots of it. Pipelines are the answer and even though there would be a leak here and there …overall considering the milions of barrels they transport they are much safer … like airplanes and cars …. than the panicky don’t-build-anything-anywhere-anymore crowd admit. h.o)

  32. morry says:

    It’s not about the car Harvey. That would be too narrow a view to take.

    HST defeated. Next will be ANY pipeline expansions through BC.

    Enbridge : no go.

  33. D.G.B. says:

    If it means anything Harv, yes, I agree with you. It’s unrealistic today, and expensive to use alternative means of energy. Hybrid cars are even limited, and batteries that last 5 years cost $5,000 to replace, then remediate them. The most vocal are people who live in crowded cities who walk everywhere and never leave their neighborhoods (like N.Y.). They don’t think of others living outside a downtown core, nor think about the cost of goods and services being trucked in to fill their shelves. We need to process our own energy, but develop technologies to scrub the air and remediate any spill damage. BC now has great veins of shale natural gas, as well as offshore deposits that need to be used as efficient and cheaper fuels – yet, there is a risk extracting them. There’s also a risk just crossing the street.

    (Response: Thanks…I needed that! Actually I think most British Columbians and Canadians agree with us …it’s just the don’t-ever-build-any-major-products-anywhere-anymore crowd shout the loudest … opposing anything and everything done by “corporations”, while still demanding lots of jobs, good pay and for governments to find ways to increase all the services we need and enjoy! h.o)

  34. Henri says:

    Deaf and Blind shrimp…..

  35. John's Aghast says:

    Give it up Harvey! Pipelines across the Prairies – Okay. You can access them in a Honda Accord.
    Pipelines to refineries – Not neccessary. There is a lot of room for refineries right next to the oil sands. Pipelines across inaccessible Northern BC? Forgetaboutit!
    If Big Oil would allow a dribble of its subsidies to be directed to alternate energy development we’d be riding levitating vehicles.

    If we ran out of oil today do you imagine we’d disappear tomorrow? Not likely.

    And Jobs? Forget about that too. The steel pipe is manufactured in China. The excavators are manufactured in China (and assembled in the US). Harper has enabled his Chinese partners to provide the labour to dig the trench. And at minimum wages so even the income tax will amount to nothing.
    There is absolutely NO BENEFIT to BC.
    And you mention above that Ontario and Quebec or the US would have ‘too much arbitrary power over Western Canada’s resources.’ Easy – just put the tap on our side of the border.

    (Response: And if we close that tap? Where would the oil go? Stop all the production? Lay off all the workers? Kill off all the towns and businesses that live off them? And that’s a solution??? h.o)

  36. Grant G says:

    You have no argument HO..You keep blathering about the jobs..Jobs, what effing jobs…China makes everything and bitumen mining is going robotic..And if Canada had no tar sands would Canada cease to exist?

    The wright brothers, very interesting, perhaps you and harry Larry should read Wilber`s journals..

    He wrote back in the day about the surrounding area around Kittyhawk…

    Wilber wrote of fish teeming in every river and stream, he wrote about game birds by the millions, he was amazed how much diverse wildlife there was around New York state….

    And at one time rivers, streams and plains from here to southern Mexico were teeming with, loaded with varied bird, animal and fish species…And even in my life, I`ve seen the Howe sound salmon vanish(No more Sun fishing derbies because there`s no0 fish)..The Southern Coho are gone, Pender ZHarbour has no more Coho, no rockfish, no halibut..Port Alberni`s wild salmon are gone, numbers collapsing..Salmon run after salmon run vanishing…

    You religious right wing idealogue clowns seem to ignore the facts..

    Everywhere man creates industry and traffic species vanish…The teeming wildlife around Haidi Gwaii at one time was everywhere…

    We can`t keep assaulting pristine environments..

    Was worse than blind shrimp..?

    Larry, Harvey and Harper, three blind mice!

  37. Grant G says:

    What`s worse than blind shrimp?

    Larry, Harvey and Harper, three blind mice!

    (Response: Very mature. h.o)

  38. CGHZD says:

    I would love to see people like you Harvey and the ceo,s and upper management crust of the oil co’s be forced to go to one of these oil spills,live in tents, eat balony sandwiches laced with the smell of oil and work cleaning up this crap until the job is done that in reality is never done.
    Than tell us its ok to ruin our future for a few bucks we will never see.

    (Response: And what about the 15,000 thousand Canadians who work in the oil sands or related industries? Can they all come and live with you? Support their families? Pay for their kids university? Few bucks? you must be VERY rich if you consider$885 Billion added to Canada’s GDP from the tar sands a few bucks. Do you think the pipelines won’t pay royalties worth hundreds of millions to government …that’s for health, education, road services for you and the rst of us. h.o)

  39. cherylb says:

    Lots of jobs? Good pay? We’re talking about approximately 3000 jobs here for the 3 year construction phase, and then maybe 105 in Kitimat AND Alberta. In return, we get stuck with the pipeline and the oil tankers and the risk forever…..In 2010 there was an oil spill in Alberta every 1.4 days. That’s a bit riskier than walking across the street….

    Response: There are more than 15,000 Canadians in jobs related to the oil sands…and for every $1 of revenues the nasty corporations get, various governments collect 54 cents in taxes, royalties etc…so don’t underestimate the benefits. I agree BC would/should have to benefit from any pipelines that cross our territory, but if that can be done, and everything is done to protect the environment, there is no reason to oppose this ..other than a HATE for business and growth and big corporations. We have to get over that; keep them honest, clean etc ..but don’t cut off our energy/income/jobs streams for others just because we ourselves are doing okay. h.o)

  40. Colin N says:

    The Northern Gateway is not about oil security for Canada – its about shipping a minimally processed product from Alberta to China, a country that has no regard for human rights and which is a rising world military power that may one day threaten our very existance. There is little of benefit to Canada. Alberta discounts their royalty rates to foreign and domestic producers in the oil sands until they recoup their capital costs and then, whatever financial benefits there are go to Alberta for Albertans and we, in BC, would take on the risks. And for what?

    (Response: BC should get royalties ..and good ones ..if the gateway goes ahead. But my blog is about pipelines in general: some people froth at the mouth at the mere mention of them ar the idea that corporations will actually make profits. That’s just the old radical hypocritcal left wing anti-corporate rhetoric:they all drive cars, pickups, have plastic products everywhere in their lives … but preach wildly against it all for others. Fair minded union people and consumers understand that, while we DO support developing alternative energies, we will need oil for decades to come and also the jobs, revenues, royalties and taxes it can bring to pay for all the programs we demand and even want expanded! Where else, pray tell, will that money come from? h.o.)

  41. Grant G says:

    Harvey..BC`s eco-tourism industry employs 135,000 people…Employs them in B.C…

    You think it`s ok to risk every other livlihood and food sources for the benefit of the few..

    Those 15,000 tar sand jobs are there now, not expanding tar export WON`T eliminate those jobs..

    “Tourism is the world’s number one employer, accounting for 10 percent of jobs globally. There is an enormous opportunity to convert much of this activity to ecotourism, which emphasizes the interpretation of local ecosystems and culture by trained guides; minimal-impact visitation; commitment to local conservation issues; and direct benefits to local people. Ecotourism also promotes ”


    Harvey, what`s immature is you repeating a single narrow refrain about tar sand jobs!

    Is that all you have?

    You refuse to even attempt to answer these questions.

    Why is Canada broke.

    Why are Canadians drowning in debt.

    Why are wages lower than 2 decades ago.


    Caterpillar, who makes most heavy mining equipment LEFT Canada for Muncie Indiana(Home of $10 dollar per houir wages..

    Aveos left Canada for cheap labour in Central America..

    Company after company are lowering wages, ripping up contracts, removing pensions, using courts to renege on pensions of those retired, I could go on and on..

    And you sit there blathering about 15,000 jobs that aren`t at risk!

    Talk about immature, kettle talks black hole drivel.

    And you have never read the Wright brothers journals or you would know of what I speak.

    “There is none so blind as those who refuse to see”

  42. Gloria says:

    Communist China has bought up huge chunks of the tar sands. They are bringing their own people to work the tar sands, right down to Chinese cooks. China is bringing hordes over to build the Enbridge pipeline. BC is just being used for a conduit, for Communist China…to obtain the dirtiest oil on the planet. Canadians don’t even get the refining jobs.

    Campbell shipped our mills to China, along with our raw logs. China owns BC mines. China is sending their people to school, to learn English, they will work the BC mines. Everything of value in this province, has been thieved and sold.

    Our F.N. people, rely on the, lakes, rivers, streams, lands and the sea, to feed their family’s. It’s bad enough, filthy diseased fish farms are killing off the wild Salmon. Fish are a staple for the F.N. too. I believe I read….Christy has a gag order on the media. They are forbid to report of, the massive die off of our, in river Salmon. Those asinine river dams, are killing fish too.

    BC has had enough eco damage. BC has been stripped of everything of value. All we have left is our wildlife, our sea life and the beauty of our province. That we will fight to keep.

    I will be damned, if we will make it easier for, Communist China, Harper and Alberta’s greed, to kill our province. BC and the people, have had enough taken away from them.

  43. Henri says:

    Grant G #29 said in part ,Jun 19, 2012 at 5:33 am
    Lastly, no one who is real close to being dead and buried should be allowed to voice opinion on major environmental issues, those decisions should go to the age group 20 to 40 years of age..
    Codicil to above statement,”to include those frothing at the mouth when commenting to another’s blog.”

    (Response: LOL! Thanks, Henri. h.o)

  44. Don F. says:

    After all the years Canadians have beem forced to give massive subsidies to this industry, after all the tax breaks and low rates they have enjoyed this is what our Government and it’s corporate freinds give us in return?
    We still have to import our gas for our cars at very high prices.
    Now they sell our resources to china to be refined there and sold back to us at even higher prices for Canadians in our future.
    You talk of 15000 related jobs for canadians Harvey but what you fail to see is that number could realistically double or triple if we weren’t selling of the raw oil materials.
    Canadians are getting screwed left right and center on this and there is no-one can paint it any other way no matter how hard you may try.
    Good luck trying.

    (Response: Anyone who has read this blog or seen my stories on air before I retired knows I am NO great friend of oil companies or their price gouging, price maniupulation. But we have to keep it real: the oil sands industry HAS been a great economic benefit to Canada, to jobs, to our economy, to government revenues, royalties and taxes (and maybe we should even get more of those!). You can read about the significance and benefits of the industry here: http://oilsands.alberta.ca/economicinvestment.html. And it’s just left wing radical Pavlovian reaction to just say NO as soon as they hear the words “oil” “corporations” “pipeline” …without even caring about how good these things, properly managed, can be for our job seekers, revenues, royalties to cover the growing costs of our social programs and even provide construction and ongoing maintenance work for First Nations workers up north. h.o)

  45. Larry Bennett says:

    Look at it this way Grant: Mother Nature (a personification, only) polluted the sands over hundreds of thousands of square miles of territory, with oil that somehow bubbled up to the surface, long before man came along. We are now attempting to repristinate those damaged lands. What is under or on, the earth, is perfectly natural, (unlike bike paths), and changing the Queen Charlotte Islands to the Haida Gwai, has done nothing to save the salmon or andy thing else. If it hadn’t been for the colonizing nations, the oil would still be under the ground doing nothing for anyone.

  46. John's Aghast says:

    I give up! h.o., the tap was there only to prevent Ontario and Quebec or the US from having TOO MUCH control over Western Canada’s resources.
    Throttle back and save some oil for the next generation. Put your 15,000 jobs to work building refineries, fertilizer plants and women’s cosmetics.
    Or build some more half billion dollar railways and rail it across the country.

  47. kootcoot says:

    What me worry? It’s all good, BeeCee residents can take advantage of full employment – cleaning up crude from creeks, rivers and the bottom of the sea. What you can’t dive? Well that’s where the highest paid jobs will be so learn how – the rest of ya can clean up on land for minimum wage (or we will bring in Chinese, just like we did for the railroad) and cut off your EI too.

    And after China burns all our cheaply sold oil we can always turn to the whales (who will undoubtedly thrive, having discovered how to use Bitumen goo spilled from giant tankers for sex lubicant) for lubricant for our electric, wind, water and manual powered moving machinery. I certain that the North Coast will be better than ever after a few tankers run aground – after all the beaches, the fishes and everything else has NEVER BEEN BETTER in the Gulf States, thanks to BP whose oil spill turned out to be a blessing in disguise…..at least that’s what they tell me on TeeVee and they are really well made ads, so they must be true….right?

    By the way Larry, though I’m surprised to find you preaching over here, but all those oil spills during the war were SMALL spills of highly refined fuel and oil (much of which burned during the battles), not toxic bitumen tar that is thinned enough to move with even more toxic stuff and the new super tankers prolly carry more real bad crap than the fuel and oil on site during the Battle of Midway and the Coral Sea. Warships only carry refined (compared to Tar Sand Goo) fuel for their own use and the payload is weaponry and the men to use it!

    What would St. Augustine or St. Francis do?

  48. paisley says:

    Why is it that you Harvey are trying to give the impression that people that are against expanding pipelines will kill current jobs. Like these jobs already exist without the new pipeline? Here’s an idea to create jobs, repair and refurbish the ones that already exist.
    You keep talking about delivering oil to [our] refineries. What refineries? Oh you mean the whole two of them. Seems to me over the years the number of refineries have been on the decline and there are no plans for expansion. Correct me if I am wrong.
    What I really can’t get over are these people that seem to think that economic growth is infinite (including you) when we live on a finite planet with finite resources. Exactly what logic or rational thought is involved with this infinite growth model, please explain this to me.
    Even more disturbing is that you of all people haven’t noticed the decline of small town BC. Four out of five forest products jobs have disappeared over the last 20 years. Mechanization (nope), efficiencies (nope), decline in harvesting (nope), raw log export (yup). Shouldn’t we be using this example of less regulation and more growth spurred on by corporate interests and government’s willingness to embrace corporate shilling to be taken as warning for extreme caution. How could it not be? Yet we should embrace your plug(and Christy’s) for pipeline expansion and increased extraction. That we should make greater effort to share the tarsands with our new Chinese friends (the once and currently hated communists) so they can expand their militarization and increase their environmental destruction. What a jolly good plan!
    The example of the development of aviation as if it was for the benefit of the average Joe clearly points out your naivety. The development of aviation was for one purpose only, to advance war, a new and improved way to kill people. Aircraft development was another military vehicle to deliver destruction not delivering people to their holiday destination as you romanticize. More and more people will travel by air you say but don’t you really mean that the same people using air travel now are just going to entertain themselves more often. Remember Harvey the middle class are in freefall. How is air travel a benefit to all Canadians or any other average person on the planet who don’t fly? I mean who knew the average person on this planet has never flown in a plane? Don’t you think that rest of us on the ground who get to live with the noise and exhaust pollution are tired of subsidizing air travel? You write, “aviation is now an integral part of our existence”. So you are saying that we humans would cease to exist without aviation. Are you completely mad? Only can these words be written by a 1 percenter whose indulgence in their own entertainment knows no bounds of reality. May I suggest a blog that explains without aviation why we would have no water, food or shelter and not be able to procreate our species….can’t wait.
    Then again those faithful that wish to accelerate the path to Armageddon haven’t a care for this world. This blind selfishness is obvious.
    Very disappointing post Harvey and I don’t think I will be joining these lunatics that think economic and population growth can go on forever and ever.

    (Response: You’re right about one thing: we DO need another refinery…but finding somewhere to build it is not that easy in these days of NIMBY. Let’s keep it real: we cannot and should not stop extracting and shipping resources unless we are ready to severely cut our uses of petroleum products, pay much higher prices for them or ask the rest of the world to do it all for us …which is the most selfish policy of all. h.o)

  49. Grant G says:

    Hey Harvey…50,000 barrels spilled into Alberta muskeg last month…500,000 litres puked into the Red Deer river last week…Oh, guess what, have you heard the latest press release from Enbridge TODAY!!!..

    300,000 litres of oil spilled from Enbridge oil line TODAY in Alberta…


    Elk Point pipeline spill releases 230,000 litres of heavy crude: Enbridge

    By Mariam Ibrahim, edmontonjournal.com June 19, 2012 6:48 PM

    Photos ( 1 )

    Oil pipelines run near storage tanks at the Enbridge Inc. Cushing Terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma, U.S.

    Oil pipelines run near storage tanks at the Enbridge Inc. Cushing Terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma, U.S.
    Photograph by: Bloomberg , edmontonjournal.com

    EDMONTON – Cleanup is underway after an oil spill Monday along Enbridge’s Athabasca pipeline, southeast of Elk Point, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board says.

    The company estimates about 230,000 litres of heavy crude oil spilled from a pumping station along the surface pipeline about 24 kilometres southeast of Elk Point, the board said Tuesday. The estimate hasn’t yet been confirmed.

    The spill was reported to the appropriate agencies on Monday, said ERCB spokesman Darin Barter.

    “It does take some time to assess the site, get our field folks on-site, determine the extent of the spill, talk to the company and see what they estimate the volume at, and then we get forward to a news release,” Barter said. “This one is significant enough that we issued a news release on it.’

    The pipeline has been shut in and the pumping station was isolated. No waterways were affected, Barter said.”


    (Response: Yes, you’re right. And hundreds of people died in car crashes around the world …do we do away with the car too? h.o)

  50. Colin says:

    Wow… Thanks Harvey! It appears that you’ve ignited a full blown lefty shyte storm. The environmental damage caused by so many disgruntled commenters setting their hair on fire must be immense! But let’s face it, nobody, including me, likes it when someone shines a light on their hypocrisy. Well done.

    (Response: I enjoy the discussion and raising difficult issues that so many others (like our politicians) fear to touch. Clearly touchede a nerve or a thousand, but trying to keep it real: we NEED oil and we need $$$ …and this country has been built on taking advantage of resources we have and the world needs. Or can be used to serve our own needs. But anyway you produce it….we need pipelines to get it to refineries or to markets. Let the never-build-anything-anymore lobby fight it all the way, but I believe MOST Canadians would support us doing everything we can to use our resources, providing we have very high environmental controls and standards. h.o)

  51. Grant G says:

    For an oldman HO you are very immature..

    Applauding with glee when Henri makes a funny, while not addressing those issues raised here by other commenters..

    I never once said to shut em down, I`ve said no to any expansion to pipe oil through BC..

    You Harvey are not fooling anyone, how much were you paid by Enbridge or the petroleum industry to write this drivel?

    You must be related to Ted Dixon and Peter Ladner!

  52. Grant G says:

    Oil sands jobs too few, too GHG-intensive to justify expansion: report
    By Adam Pez June 19, 2012 02:00 pm 1 comments


    A new report on Canadian greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) weighs the toll of oil sands expansion in terms even the most hard-bitten economist could understand — jobs.

    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) report Green Industrial Revolution: Climate Justice, Green Jobs and Sustainable Production was released today, providing a bird’s-eye view of the GHG emissions per job in everything from retail work to oil and gas extraction.

    The authors weighed GHG emissions against the fiscal gain of rapid oil sands expansion, and concluded that expansion would create too few jobs to be worth the environmental costs, said report author and CCPA economist Marc Lee in an email.

    “We take a close look at the GHG emissions and employment by industry category, and show how few jobs — but how massive the emissions — are from our obsession with fossil fuel extraction and export,” wrote Lee. The report “has added importance given the charm offensive we are currently seeing from the federal government and the oil and gas industry.”


  53. Colin says:

    Give me a break.

    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says oil is bad…? Really?

    I imagine you’d probably summarily discount anything produced by The Fraser Institute. Lets try and avoid trotting out reports authored by political action organizations.

  54. Keith B's Hairpiece says:

    Jeezus, Grant. Get a friggin’ clue (life). And stop harassing people!! You might make a difference if you’d stop pissing people off. You’re what is wrong with the Far Left faction.
    You mention the eco-tourism jobs. Last I checked, all the sightseeing boats (whales, bears, waterfalls) and the buses shuttling hikers to the WCT, etc. were all powered by… wait for it…

    Dinosaur Juice!!! HELLOOO!!!

    If you had to power a RHI with electicity, well, you might have one passenger, and a sh!t load of batteries. Recharged by the wonderfully overpriced Rape-of-River power we all love to hate.

    I don’t want any more pipelines or tankers in BC either. But we need to refine the oil here. PERIOD! And stop relying on imports (which come by tanker BTW). Our dependence on petrochemicals will be humanity’s Coup de grâce. But in the meantime…

    We need oil. I’m now 40, and I don’t see us relieving us of that burden within my lifetime. Keep the technology coming by all means, and hopefully my newborn daughter will be able to enjoy the benefits of near zero hydrocarbon existence.

    Harv, thanks for making sane people think a little 😉

    And, Grant. nlnn

    (Response: You make a very good point: some people …left or right…are so intolerant of other people disagreeing with their point of view, they totally lose it … sliding into name calling, insults and immature denunciations. And what they never seem to realize is how it reflects more on them than those at whom they direct their invective. h.o)

  55. Grant G says:

    You are indeed a two-bit journalist Harvey..Car accidents?..That`s an insult to intelligent people Harvey..Your tee-heeing of others insulting me..80% of BCers are on my side, on nature`s side..

    All you have defending your stance are the right-wing haters.

    perhaps you missed Vaughn Palmer`s last column..

    1000 plus enbridge pipeline leaks in the last few years…

    I feel sorry for you Harvey,


    The good thing is..Enbridge will never get their pipeline to Kitimat, and Harper will be gone in 3 years.

    (Response: More insults and rudeness. Hard to believe an adult is writing your stuff. h.o)

  56. Grant G says:

    @B`s hairpiece..

    You should learn to read, I wrote many a story about sending oil east and fill that 870,000 barrel import need first, I also espoused refining it here…

    My fight is with pipelines through pristine areas and supertankers in the 3rd most dangerous waterway in the world..

    And did I once say stop the present extraction in Alberta?..No i didn`t..

    You should learn to read..But I understand your hatred, you live at Bloatto`s place, the land of make believe.

    And one more thing, confirmed by Robyn Allen, I was the first to expose and write about the real cost to BC if Enbridge`s pipeline goes through..

    $700 million dollars per year in higher fuel prices..

    And here is one last link that exposes on video a tiny sampling of Enbridge`s environmental (crimes)

    (Response: Again…a comment that starts with an insult. As for the poorly-argued points provided, I would just point readers to today’s Vancouver Sun story about Vancouver’s only oil refinery “Lack of pipeline capacity leaves refinery starved for crude.”

  57. Crankypants says:

    I think that it is a sad state of affairs when discourse on a topic comes down to a right/left issue. Not everything can be boiled down to one’s political leanings, especially when the supposed boundaries are based on less than defined parameters and more on nothing but hyperbole.

    As I see it, the discussion should focus on whether the route of the pipeline Enbridge is championing and the establishment of Kitimat as a port for supertankers should be the issue. From what I’ve been able to learn from various sources, I think not. The terrain for both the pipeline and shipping route are less than ideal for such an undertaking. The job projections are short-term at best. Once the pipeline is built we will again be faced with a myriad of unemployed people looking for the next mega project. The other argument that bugs me is the idea that BC will be taking all the risks while getting little financial benefit in return. How does one calculate how much a perceived risk is worth in the first place? If a risk is intolerable then there should be no amount of money that makes it anything more.

    That being said, we are and will be dependent on petroleum products for many, many years to come. As with any resource, the oilsands/tarsands have a finite lifespan. Should we accelerate the extraction process for a supposed revenue bump or make this asset last as long as possibel? Should we be selling our resources for minimal return when processing these resources within Canada will reap greater rewards in both jobs and revenue? This is where the discussion should really be focussed.

    (Response: Yes, it is too bad that BC has the way of the US in discussing big issues: on ideological gorunds rather than on the needs, possibilities, concerns, solutions. Whatever Obama proposes, the Republicans oppose, just because it comes from Obama/Democrats; here, whatever Harper proposes, the NDP types on the Internet will oppose …just because it comes from Harper/Tories. Neither Canada nor the US is well served by such ideological blindness. h.o)

  58. cherylb says:

    Those are 15,000 existing jobs Harvey. They won’t disappear if the oil companies have to find another way to get their product to market and we could have a whole lot more than 15,000 jobs if they did more with it here in Canada than what they are now. I find it hard to believe that you are defending this issue. You know darn well if they don’t get what they want, they will just keep trying. Is beautiful BC worth so little to you? I stand by what I said above. We in BC MIGHT get 3,000 construction jobs for three years and 105 permanent jobs after that. NOT WORTH THE RISK…..

    (Response: And what other “risk-free” way would you use to get millions of tons of oil to market? h.o)

  59. Dave LeBlanc says:

    Spills are nots acts of God. They are industrial accidents, most often caused by the negligence of companies involved.
    Insurance policies alone are not enough. The feds need to force companies to “put up” funds in advance of any project to cover environmental disasters. The idea of spill now, pay later (or not) is a deeply flawed system that ALWAYS leaves communities and the environment holding the bag for accidents. Since the Nestucca Spill, new laws have helped to prevent and clean up smaller spills, but now those same laws are being undone. That’s not moving forward by any stretch of the imagination. Canada has NEVER been prepared for a major accident at sea and NEVER will be at this rate.

    That’s keeping it real…

  60. e.a.f. says:

    Your column certainly generated some energy there. Enough to get me around the block at least.

    Pipelines maybe necessary. I just don’t want them going through the province. I will walk or bike before I would vote to allow tankers down the B.C. coast.

    I do not want this oil to be used shipped to China. It won’t be doing anything for us & the processing of it won’t be enviornmental. Better to be processed in North america & specifically Canada.

    A pipeline to Ontario & refineries there makes more sense, to me. What I can’t figure out is why they don’t move the bitamen in tanker trains. The rail lines are all ready there, just ship it anywhere in north america.

    if there really is going to be an end to oil some day, then we should keep Canada’s supply in the ground until WE, CANADA, need it. We don’t owe China anything, so why ruin our enviornment for a foreign country to make profits.

    (Response: Certainly some good discussion of the issue! Don’t want to disappoint you, but we already have lots of tankers going up and down BC’s coast … from Alaska. Shipping it all East would certainly be politically easier for BC .. but then we’re tied too much to the US and we lose major possible markets in Asia …and BC gets nothing in terms of jobs or taxes or royaltiers, that we sure could use to pay for all our baby boomers now coming into retirment, who will need LOTS of health care, hospital space, nursing homes … not to mention public services for the rest of the population: education, social services, courts, roads, transit etc etc. h.o)

  61. Larry Bennett says:

    Kootcoot – In what way did I “preach”? You’re the one who is asking what Augustine or Francis would do! I suspect they might have said not to waste the resources that God gave us, but to use it carefully and w/o doing damage. As you said, I don’t think it was a waste to stop the Axis from enslaving the world. I think some were called to live in caves, as 40 million in China do, or religious ecstatics or Simon Stylites, but most of us just want to get through life without a bunch of pantheists telling us how to live. As the poet says: Nature, poor step-dame, cannot slake my drouth.

  62. psosp says:

    Wow – a whole bunch of bickering going on here. From where I stand (education in geochemical oceanography/offshore resources, worked in environmental research and consulting, now in public education) I think the issues are clouded by the mere mention of the word “pipeline”. I will say right up front, I am opposed, fully and without hesitation, to the gateway pipeline.

    But as for any pipeline in question we have to assess a few different things. Firstly, for any and all pipelines, there has to be full , enforceable responsibility/accountability with the oil company, morally, ethically, and especially financially. They spill, they clean up fully, subject to being inspected with the finest microscope we can use on the situation. And they pay, preferably right out of the executive’s bonuses, not our taxpayer wallets. We always seem to get hit with these costs, and the cleanup is only half-assed at best. This is unacceptable and shows no sign of changing anytime soon…

    Secondly, we have to be aware what the pipeline is to carry. No disrespect, but there are vast differences between jet fuel, gasoline, light crude and bitumen, and everything in between. Crude is nasty when spilled, bitumen is absolutely evil. The pipe materials are less resistant to bitumen sludge flowing through, hence more corrosion and leaks. We also have to think about the “fluidizing” solvents heated and pumped with the bitumen being piped back to origin for re-use. These solvents are going to carry some nasties from the bitumen! That pipe also stands to leak, as any other.
    Thirdly, we need to take into account the terrain the pipeline is to pass through. As someone said it is a far sight easier to monitor a pipeline through the prairies of Sask (they said it could be done with a Honda accord driving along) than through the rugged terrain of BC. and the coastal waters. Yes, we already have ships carrying some pretty funky stuff, but not bitumen!
    Refining the product here would lessen some of the issues and impacts of a spill. It would provide jobs here, and give us, the Canadians, a break on energy prices, unless labor was imported at a 15% discount, but that is another discussion for another day…. Guess what? Canada has sold out so much of the tar sands to China that we may not have that kind of control anymore. Besides, as with any supply and demand, if bitumen/crude is shipped out for a high price, reducing the amount available for Canadians, it’s a win-win for big oil as both China AND Canadians will be paying higher prices. Refining it here would eat into the profit potential.

    So, if Big Oil was truly and fully held accountable – at THEIR expense – for any and all damages, we’d see a lot less spills. To them it’s a cost of business and they get that cost from the consumer/taxpayer in the end (no pun intended). There would be incentive to refine it here, and export the refined and (somewhat) “safer” products. And they would sure as hell go to great lengths to ensure safe transport to wherever. But who is going to enforce such a “pipe” dream? Harpercrit has muzzled the environmental scientists, shut down monitoring, cut funding left, right and center, decimated our environmental asssessment protocols. So, we have the safety switches turned off, companies that pay lip service to responsibility, a government that doesn’t give a crap, and a minimal number of jobs resulting, we have guaranteed higher energy prices because we don’t own or control our own resources anymore, and we are just consumers, not citizens, to be fleeced and controlled.

    (Response: Really well thought out and presented ideas. Thanks for contributing to the discussion, which is getting more airing here this week than in all the mainstream media put together. h.o)

  63. Mo says:

    another Alberta Oil Leak brought to you by Enbridge:

    H.O. You had better forget about worrying about oil/gas for your car.

    NO pipelines through BC. Bet on it.

  64. Henri says:

    psosp // Jun 21, 2012 at 2:40 am #62
    A Very good sensible, coherent, comment, this kind of dialogue one can draw from…

  65. EV says:

    Harvey I really hope you understand how horribly underfunded and understaffed the people who look after toxic spills in this province are. Our meager resources are so bad we can’t even get a reciprocal agreement with our (better prepared and funded) neighbours in Washington State and Alaska because of insurance liabilities.

    (Response: Clearly protection of the environment is extremely important and laws and governments MUST make sure there are more than adequate resources to deal with any spills … and paid fror by the industries involved, not the taxpayers. But that doesn’t mean we should just condemn pipelines totally as an efficient, clean way of getting much needed products to markets …here and abroad. h.o)

  66. mariner says:

    Several other [osters have already alluded to what “psosp” has said – though not in as much detail.

    Unfortunately, Harvey has taken most comments as being against oil pipelines in total – that is not what people have said.

    Most are against the “Northern Gateway Pipeline” and Enbridge putting the two pipe lines through the most difficult Canadain terrain, when there are other practical alternatives – ones that can generate thousands of jobs for Canadians and many opf them being permanent ones. Instead, the proposal (Tar Sands and Northern Gateway)sells Canadian resources CHEAPLY to CHINA for little benifit to the average Canadian citizen (especially British Columbians).

    This is a very “hot ” topic and one that should be goven much more exposure through the media – though it appears that Harper controls it too, these days.

    Lastly, there are ample indications that Harper is turning this once proud and democratic country into an Orwellian DICK-TATORSHIP, where indipendent opinions are not allowed under threat of imprisonment.

    Please, lets keep it real !

    (Response: Yes, let’s keep it real. My blog did not even mention the Enbridge project or its proposed route. Rather it tries to deal with the panic-attack reaction by too many people as soon as you mention “pipeline”! The over-the-top reaction from some to just the idea of my support pipeliners anywhere in BC proved my point. Of course, we already have MANY pipelines in the province, going in every direction, but something has gone terribly wrong and too many people have developed a hate on for just the very idea …even though their own lives already benefit greatly from pipelines. Accidents, of course, are terrible …but, as I mentioned, so are car and plane crashes, but just like those two, pipelines overall contribute a great deal to our lives and economy …and should be welcomed where thery can be built safely and to high environmental standards. And yes, even to the coast, if that is feasible under tight conditions and it can bring BC millions or billions in revenues. h.o)

  67. Grant G says:

    No Harvey..You get real.

    Car accidents, plane crashes.

    Who do you think you are speaking to..

    That analogy is pathetic, and don`t bullshit me now..

    You mention getting this oil to markets that are willing to pay, you damn well know that means pipeline through BC and super-tankers.

    Here below is just 1 of your response comments, our oil already gets to the US market

    “Response: And exactly how would you get the oil from Alberta to a refinery? Pipelines! As for consuming it all domestically, I’d have no problem with that … if the economics would support that. But what’s wrong with exporting some of it to the US at least? And to other countries also that need it, and are willing to pay fair prices for it? As long as we protect the environment, the workers and communities as well. h.o)”

  68. Don F. says:

    I think the only way to get a straight answer is to ask a straight forward question.
    Harvey we know how you feel about piplines in general so I won’t question about that.
    My quetion to you is… How do you feel about the proposed Northern gateway pipline in particular and the environmental threats that come with it? Would you be willing to put our province and people at risk knowing enbridges past and knowing where this pipeline is to be located and the reasons for it to exist?
    Thank you.

    (Response: Your question shows the level iof hysteria over the Enbridge pipeline. “Put our province” at risk? Really??? “Our province”? That would be some spill!! Yes, spills are horrible and can cause damage … just like so many other disasters we face on a regular basis. BUT if the overall benefit to our society of any huge project or major new technological development (I’m not kidding when I say cars, esp fast ones going over 50 mph, and planes were once seen by MANY as madness that would kill people. And they have. But the overall benefit has clearly proved much higher than the costs.) So it can be with Enbridge: I am NOT automatically in favour of that line at any cost, esp with the Harper government’s diminished rules/controls on the environment. BUT if extremely high standards of environmental protection can be included; if there is a clear demonstrated BENEFIT to our economy, well above and beyond the dangers and costs, and BC gets a fair share of the billions of royalties that can flow from it, to help pay for all the programs we want (and many say they want expanded) then I am in favour of it. If it fails on these counts, then I’d oppose it. And I believe that’s the way MOST Canadians and British Columbians feel: we will NOT oppose it just because of Pavlovian hysterics against oil and pipelines in general, or because it is proposed by huge business or because it comes while the Tories are in power. h.o)

  69. Don F. says:

    I don’t think your reply to me is a fair one given the circumstances we face. To imply that I am hysterical is foolish and childish.
    I specifically said “knowing enbridges past” and “where this pipeline is to be placed”
    We have a premier who will not take a stance either way, it is ‘known’ what prescious little is being offered to BC as compensation, enbridge admits future gas prices for canadians will rise because of this venture, we have seen ottawa take unprecedented steps to punish any environmental representation. We have heard from prominent economists telling deaf ears what a bad deal this is for canadians.
    I think I have reason to be concerned. When I say “our province at risk” I say that because the lower mainland does not constitute BC and any possible damage is in fact ‘Our province” whether it be Kitimat or White rock.
    This is not like car or plane accidents Harvey… with those we just kill each other. We have no right now to carry that over to other innocent species that could care less if China gets it oil fix.
    We all have a right to opinions, I asked for yours and you gave it, fair enough.

    (Response: I don’t mind if you criticize my response..but don’t make it up! Where did I use the words “foolish” or “childish”? I DO believe many people are being hysterical and opposing the gateway project, regardless of ANY safety or environmental standards that could be applied to it. That is simply not fair. Would you and others speaking out os loudly support the project if another company, not Enbridge, was put in charge. I doubt it. I’m no cheerleader for Enbridge or its record, BUT following your logic, BP Petroluem shoud no longer be allowed to drill anywhere in the world because of the past disaster in the Gulf …much worse than anything Enbridge has ever been guilty of? sh*t happens …and we don’t just stop the world: we try to make sure there are improvements and changes to reduce the chances of it ever happening again. I believe the whole gateway project…if it can be shown to provide HUGE benefits to Canada, Alberta, BC in terms of needed oil, revenues, jobs, royalties deserves go ahead, if it can be made as safe as reasonable possible. What’s worng with that… other than it skewers the ideological hate that seems to go with words like “pipeline, oil, big business, corporations, profits, Tory government “? h.o)

  70. Don F. says:

    What I said Harvey is:
    ” to imply that I am hysterical ‘is’ foolish and childish.
    Sorry if it was misunderstood.

  71. 13 says:

    Wow 70 comments. I havent turned this computer on for awhile because Ive been busy burning fossil fuels.

    Harvey keeping it real certainly hits the nail on the head when it comes to pipelines. Until we figure out how to get around like Kirk and Spock we need fuel. Electric , solar, nuclear, etc all have side effects. When you weigh the need to keep this planet up and running the only real alternative fuel to oil is nuclear. I wonder if a nuke power plant beside that idiotic windmill on Grouse mtn would be acceptable?
    Ill take pipelines until they figure out how to make nukes safer

  72. mariner says:

    Reasons why “Enbridge Pipelines” should not be allowed as they don’t even pay lip service to regulatory requirements let alone c omplete cleanups.

    Nothing wrong with properly constructed, maintained and inspected pipelines outside of British Columbia where Enbridge want to go.



  73. Terrence Murphy says:

    Harvey, I enjoyed your article and pretty much agree with you. I am so tired of the rants by the left wing environmental whackos. I guess the TRANS MOUNTAIN PIPELINE , opened in 1953 ..gosh that is almost 60 years ago. I guess it didnt go through any environmentally sensitive areas or it would never have been built. I have not heard about many leaks or spills on that line except when some machine operator dug it up in Burnaby.

    As to the tankers, there are already about 500 tankers a year running down Juan de Fuca Strait to Anacortes, Ferndale and Vancouver. There are more than 3500 deep sea vessels entering Vancouver every year. That means at least 7000 trips through the narrow confines of Haro Strait. How many collisions, groundings or other incidents? The last one was in 1970 when a Russian Freighter collided with a BC FERRY in Active Pass in the Gulf Islands. That was 40 years ago. Modern ships have amazing navigation devices now including DIGITAL RADAR, AUTOMATIC ID SYSTEMS(AIS) GPS and any tankers going into KITIMAT will require double
    hulls. In addition all foreign vessels require the expertise go a BC MARINE PILOT to operate in our waters.

    The pipeline can be safe and the tankers can be safe. Let’s get on with it.

    (Response: The news, by its very nature, highlights and covers with great detail crashes, disasters etc. …but we DLO not report the millions upon millions of safe car trips, uneventful air trips or the billions of gallons of oil that are carried in pipelines and tankers. When something terrible happens…and they will continue to do so..most of us understand the relative nature of the tragedy, whether it is an airline crash that kills 250 or an oil spill that pollutes the Gulf of Mexico…horrible but a small percentage of what actually goes on each day, each week around the world. It the hysterical ones, though, who capture the headlines and government attention and it’s about time this changes. h.o)

  74. Grant G says:

    Read the below, then watch a couple of short videos Harvey

    “Hours after alarms began going off in an Enbridge control room indicating a major pipeline rupture near Kalamazoo, Michigan, ill-trained workers could not agree that something was very wrong, and in fact one Enbridge employee’s response was to tell another, “Whatever, we’re going home and will be off for few days.”

    That scene is described in damning U.S. regulatory reports portraying Calgary-based Enbridge as a company that ignored safety protocols and warning alarms as well as the recommendations of previous safety audits in what amounted to a botched response to one of the continent’s largest freshwater pipeline spills.

    On July 25, 2010 a 40-foot long segment of Line 6B ruptured in Michigan and spilled more than 1 million gallons of diluted bitumen (more than 20,000 barrels) into 38 miles of the Kalamazoo River. To date the large bitumen leak has cost Enbridge $725-million and U.S. taxpayers another $37-million in clean-up bills. ”





    Ok, you read the Tyee article, you watched the videos of Enbridge HIDING oil..Now watch this, ..Enbridge denying responsibilty and claiming it was “Unforseeable”


    And for good measure, another spill.


  75. RS says:

    Congratulations H.O. A Keeping it Real… piece de resistance? I don’t know, but 70 comments! Could that be a record for the number of comments to a single post?

    I’ll refrain from supporting or condeming oil and piplines. You see, I am conflicted. I am not a “rabid environmentalist” but I am an outdoor enthusiast who lives in BC and is invested in Alberta. My bad!

  76. Grant G says:

    Environmental authorities have mapped out a three-year plan for the restoration of Bohai Bay, which was severely damaged by oil spills last year, China’s ocean watchdog said Thursday.

    According to a statement by the State Oceanic Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture aims to rebuild the area’s fishery industry by 2015, including putting about 3.4 billion aquatic animals into the bay.

    The agency also announced that money from a 1 billion yuan ($157 million) compensation fund has already been allocated to Hebei and Liaoning provinces to be used to help fishermen affected by the leaks from the Penglai 19-3 oilfield.
    ConocoPhillips China, the operator of the oilfield, has also agreed with the government to set up another 1.1 billion yuan fund based on estimated damages.

    The company, based in the United States, and its Chinese partner, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, will also jointly pay another 600 million yuan.
    The money will go toward Bohai Bay’s marine environment recovery, construction and protection, the statement said.

    ConocoPhillips China confirmed the agreement and said the company places the highest priority on its commitment to the country, and it looks forward to continuing operations in China.

    In June 2011, Penglai 19-3 oilfield experienced two unrelated leaks, with initial estimates indicating that about 723 barrels (115 cubic meters) of oil were released into the sea and 2,620 barrels (416.45 cubic meters) of mineral oil mud were released onto the seabed, according to the US company.

    A State Oceanic Administration investigation report in November said the leaks polluted an area of about 6,200 square kilometers (nearly nine times the size of Singapore), including 870 square kilometers that were severely polluted.
    The contamination killed large amounts of aquatic animals and led to a growing abnormality in the water, the report said.

    Although progress is being made in dealing with the impact of the leaks, legal experts said restoration and compensation efforts should be more transparent.

    Zhou Ke, a professor on environment law at Renmin University of China, said the incident had damaged the interests of not only the government, but also the people.
    “More public voices should be heard before the compensation agreement is completed,”

    Read more here


    These super-tankers proposed for British Columbia`s northern coast and Hecate Strait, the third most dangerous waterway in the world will be carrying a staggering ..



    Wow Harvey, all that damage from 3000 barrels of oil, imagine a 2 million barrel super tanker spill!


  77. Gini says:

    Wow……I’ve been ‘incommunicado’ for a few days, and look what I’ve missed! Never in the history of B.C. has one company evoked such negative response. I’d just like to say that according to everything I’ve read on the subject, B.C. is not going to get one drop of oil from the Northern Gateway pipeline.

    Gwyn Morgan’s proposed twinning of his existing pipeline to the lower mainland will be by-passing the only refinery left in that area, and the super-tankers will be transporting everything to the U.S. and Asia.

    I have just two questions to ask you, Harvey:

    1. Have you ever taken a cruise down the Douglas Channel and through the waterways out to Hecate Strait in any kind of boat in any kind of weather? (If your answer is “yes”, you must know that there isn’t enough money in the world to pay for the ‘clean-up’ of a bitumen spill there.)

    2. Do you believe that industry and government revenues trump the environment every time?

    Harper and Christy Clark would like us to believe that without selling off all our resources to other countries, they would have no money to pay for our health care, education, etc. How about they start taxing those fat-cat corporations what every other country is taxing them? Their fear-mongering threats that tell us the corporations would just pull out are just that…….idle threats. Where are they going to go? (Oops, that’s three questions).

    (Response: Just got back from a weekend in Victoria, and everytime I take a BC Ferry or ctravel the inside passage on BC Ferries or cruise to Alaska I understand exactly how concerned we should all be about spills either from pipelines or tankers. YES we must take every pre-caution and NO, we should not allow bucks and business to trump the environment. But I believe we can’t just stop the world or tell everyone else to assume all the risk, while we enjoy the products: we need to do our share in extracting and sharing our resources, while taking as many precautions as possible to do it safely. h.o)

  78. mariner says:

    Harvey, I forgot to mention that I do have pipelines within 1/4 mile of my house.

    I live 40 miles south of Prince George on a 150 acre property. At the back of my property there is a “pipeline easement” where three pipelines run across a corner of my land – two oil pipelines and one natural gas pipeline. These are buried and out of sight excepting the requisit warning notices posted at regular intervals.

    About ten miles north of where I live there was an oil leak and the work to remedy this was very involved and time consuming. Fortunately there was minimal spillage – but enough to rise on to the surface of the land and show a leak (adjacent to highway 97).

    I do believe this qualifies me more than you to make comments on the merits for pipelines as I live with pipe lines on a daily basis – not in a clean condominiukm in a high rise building.

    The comments echo’ed by many posters are very relavent and give varied important viewpoints on this discussion.

    I omitted earlier to mention the pipelines on my property – sorry about that.


  79. kootcoot says:

    Harvey, I prefer Grant’s passion for humanity and facts any day over your approach to a serious subject by creating a straw man and then defending him with an unending cascade of non sequiturs ranging from the Wright Brothers to automobile fatalities. The sad thing is that you are one of the better journalists (even if retired) in Canada, which indicates to me that we need our own Leveson inquiry.

    You act as if everyone who disagrees with your cheerleading for pipelines, with no sign that perhaps the Northern Gateway (and the resulting tanker traffic) might be less than desirable, wants not only to never build another inch of pipeline, but actually go out and dig up every mile of existing pipe in the ground, including the natural gas lines to our houses.

    Only psosp and mariner write from an objective and rational position and everyone else just goes along with the false flag left/right phoney battle lines when the real battle is about whether humans as a species will survive long enough to use up the depleting petroleum reserves.

    Larry Bennett figures since we survived the Industrial Revolution, we will survive anything else in the future. Of course during the Industrial Revolution, the planet only had a billion or two humans and at that some parts of England, Russia and Europe were rendered almost uninhabitable soot infested hells that accelerated evolution in some species that could cope with quicker turn around in reproduction and adaptation. Of course LB may not actually acknowledge evolution and the birds in London that changed color were probably just covered in soot some fundies would likely insist.

    Some have complained that shipping the oil east would put Quebec and Ontario in control of the “tap.” I assume those folks would prefer the Government of China, that abuses its own people to be in charge, with an assist from those wonderful folks at Exxon and BeePee!

    as to: “but we already have lots of tankers going up and down BC’s coast … from Alaska.”

    That is disingenuous Harv, these tankers stay to the west of Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island and DO NOT attempt to navigate the treacherous waters of Douglas Channel, Hecate Straits or the Dixon Entrance. Tankers do ply Burrard Inlet and the Juan de Fuca, but there is much more navigation aids there, and frankly the Lower Vainland is already screwed over so if a tanker runs aground let it be into a piling of the Lions Gate bridge or onto Race Rocks so it can mix in with the turds from Greater Victoria, not off of the North Coast of Haida Gwaii.

    Crankypants need not worry about:

    “The job projections are short-term at best. Once the pipeline is built we will again be faced with a myriad of unemployed people looking for the next mega project.”

    The next mega project will be cleaning up spills, and since it will be bitumen, they will be “long term” jobs – wait a minute, maybe better advice would be to study “communications” so you can be hired for the PR campaign that Enbridge (and BP and Exxon) prefer to actual proactive safe procedures and/or clean-up. If you really want to make money, study law, the lawyers for Exxon are still fighting to prevent paying any settlement for the Exxon Valdez and lotsa fisherpeople get to live a life of leisure, with no messy smelly fish to deal with (little dirty money to count either)!

  80. DILAN says:

    People are moving out west basuece there is a new industry their. Its not as though the east is losing work, the west is just experiencing a huge growth spurt. If anything, job growth in the west will trickle down and equal work in the east. In regards to Sarnia, the explosion of work in the oil refineries out west is now meaning way more work for Sarnia. Some plants are closing due to lack of demand for their products and making way for new products that are in demand.

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