LETTER: Anti-tanker lobby not supported by facts

I would like to agree with the comments from Michael Berry regarding oil tankers on our coast (Exxon Valdez poor comparison to B.C. Tanker Fleet, The NEWS, March 1). The anti-pipeline, anti-tanker lobby has overreacted to this issue. Their opposition is bordering on hysteria.

Consider that approximately 3,500 deep sea ships arrive and depart the Port of Vancouver each year. That is 7,000 ship movements through Georgia Strait, Haro Strait and Juan de Fuca. Add to that the thousands of ships heading to American ports, including oil tankers from Alaska. Add to that the more than 20,000 BC Ferries trips each year. Consider that BC Pilotage Authority pilots are on each of the Vancouver-bound ships. Consider that there are now very sophisticated navigation instruments on modern ships including AIS, high-tech radar which did not exist when the Exxon Valdez grounded. Consider that oil tankers are required to have double bottoms to enter our waters. Consider the last time there was a significant incident involving a deep sea ship was when a Soviet cargo ship collided with a BC Ferry in Active pass in August, 1970, nearly 50 years ago.

Consider that there are more than 7,000 tankers plying the world’s oceans largely without incident. On any given day there can be upwards of 400 tankers in Singapore’s harbour alone. Consider that each year there are approximately 50,000 tanker transits of the English Channel.

The anti-tanker lobby is out of line. Just like the anti-pipeline mob.

Terrence Murphy

French Creek

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