I did take the time to read Jim Shepard’s guest editorial. Given Shepard’s track record with Concerned Citizens for B.C., I didn’t expect anything but a celebration of his buddy David Black’s proposal to build a refinery at Kitimat. I did hope, however, that he would address the core issues around the proposal.
It was therefore disappointing to see him dismiss the environmental issues with a 50-word paragraph in an 800-word essay. What he said is that spilled gasoline is easier to clean up than tar sand bitumen. True enough. And maybe the tankers might be smaller since they would be carrying a more value-added product. It’s possible.
What about the thousands of creeks, streams, lakes and salmon-bearing rivers the pipeline would have to cross on its way to Kitimat? What about the rights of the many First Nations who would have to agree to accept the risk? And, if we decided to override their concerns, what does Shepard propose we do about that?
Even somewhat reluctantly, I might just sign on to the refinery project if he were to put it next to the tar sands pits and ship the product to Ontario and Quebec to reduce their dependence on Saudi/Nigerian imports.