An oil tanker passing through Burrard Inlet.

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

File photo
Surrey to borrow $150 million for three major recreation projects

That’s for a sports complex in the city centre, a sports and ice complex in Cloverdale and a community centre in Newton

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read