Letters: Build the oil refineries in Fort McMurray

Building the refiner in Fort McMurray would mean the bitumen never leaves the tar sands, reader says.

I found David Black’s opinion editorial on the eventual destruction of the North Pacific most interesting and timely, considering the federal Conservative government’s commitment on making a decision on the Northern Gateway Pipeline in June of this year. (‘Greatest environmental threat of our lifetime’, Progress, April 25).

The idea of building a refinery in Prince Rupert has already been proposed by BC Green party MLA Andrew Weaver.  At the same time the honorable MLA knows this is still a tragic consequence, and does nothing to answer the real problem of global warming and environmental destruction.  Opting for the lesser of two evils, Dr. Weaver is hoping the powers that be, see that the enormity of the investment involved and the public disdain for pipelining and tankering bitumen will deter them from increasing oil sands production altogether.

Personally, and with all due respect, I think the answer lies in Fort McMurray itself.  Why not build the refinery right there, then the bitumen never leaves the tar sands.  This would also increase the safety of our rivers and pristine wilderness.

Fort McMurray could then become the distribution and recycling return center.  They could then build pipelines for distributing refined product, far safer and many times more lucrative.  The money you save not building pipelines for bitumen and the cost of not having to tanker oil back and forth across the ocean, could be used towards refinery construction, which would be around $7 billion dollars.

Art Green,

Hope, BC