An oil tanker passing through Burrard Inlet.

Activists unveil oil tanker alerts

Aim is to block tar sands exports through Metro Vancouver and Burrard Inlet

Opponents of crude oil exports through Metro Vancouver hope to shine a spotlight on the issue with a new service that beams out text alerts when tankers dock here.

Ben West, a campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, said the aim is to inform more people who often don’t know up to 70 tankers a year enter Burrard Inlet to load up with crude that flows through the region in Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

“Our goal at the moment is just to raise awareness,” he said, adding no specific protests are planned.

Anyone can subscribe to text message alerts on their cellphone (by texting ‘oil’ 604 800 9180) to get details on tankers as they dock at the Kinder Morgan pipeline terminal in north Burnaby, or they can follow @BurrardInletOil on Twitter.

West is among the environmentalists who hope to block Kinder Morgan’s tentative proposal to more than double the capacity of its pipeline to 700,000 barrels per day.

“All Kinder Morgan is doing is expanding to turn us into a tar sands shipping port,” West said.

Company officials note the pipeline also delivers most of the gasoline used in the Lower Mainland.

But West argues any increased capacity is strictly about its ability to export.

“It’s all about profits for Kinder Morgan and not what’s in the best interest of people in B.C.”

Kinder Morgan hasn’t yet formally proposed the $4-billion pipeline twinning but is testing the appetite of customers for more capacity.

For activists like West, the issue is not just about a potential threat to local waters from oil spills but whether tar sands oil – which has a heavier carbon footprint because it requires more energy to extract – is used at all.

“Ultimately my goal is to make Canada play a responsible role in the world on climate change.”

West expects the U.S. government’s decision to delay approval of rival Trans Canada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline to Texas will be used by Kinder Morgan to promote its route as an outlet to carry Alberta oil to Asia.

“With the Keystone being delayed, at least for a while, this is the number one way the tar sands could be exported,” West said.

Also proposed is Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline across northern B.C. to Kitimat, but it faces stiff opposition from First Nations and requires an all-new corridor, unlike Kinder Morgan’s plan to twin its existing pipeline.

 

Just Posted

Budget 2020 for Chilliwack proposes hiring six new RCMP officers

Plan puts high priority on public safety with new police, fire and bylaw officers

Eight years in jail for high-level Chilliwack drug dealer

Clayton Eheler sentenced more than five years after he was found with nine kilograms of cocaine

Gorgeous scenery and exhilarating action in Warren Miller’s winter sports film ‘Timeless’ in Chilliwack

The 70th installment in the film series, Timeless confirms that the joys of winter are eternal

Snow appears in forecast for next week in Fraser Valley

Extreme weather shelter in Hope could be open by Monday

B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of guns’ back in jail yet again for trafficking in Glock parts

Bradley Michael Friesen has parole revoked for allegedly importing gun parts yet again

Driver escaped uninjured as car burst into flames on Nordel Way

It happened at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in North Delta, just west of Scott Road

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

No turn signals, double-parking among top concerns for B.C. drivers: poll

Two-thirds of B.C. drivers said that not using turn signals was their biggest pet peeve

Man accused in fatal Shuswap church shooting also charged with arson

Parmenter family home badly damaged by fire a month before killing

Most Read