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

Oppal says Surrey mayor wrong about policing transition timeline

Chairman of committee overseeing Surrey’s transition from RCMP to city police says work won’t be done by Dec. 11

White Rock waterfront strategy ‘pop-up’ session to be held tomorrow

Event to take place at museum from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

‘A labour of love’: High school turns into ‘toy shop’ for Surrey Christmas Bureau

Fraser Heights Secondary has been making toys for the non-profit for more than a decade

Farnworth says Surrey RCMP boss’s statement on budget should be taken ‘seriously’

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald warned Surrey’s budget will have “detrimental effect” on policing

New date set for suspects in South Surrey Hells Angel murder

Court heard that both sides are prepared to set preliminary hearing date

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Chilliwack mom gives back to neonatal unit with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read

l -->