Refine it here

Being against the pipeline is one thing, but what about refining bitumen in Alberta?

An old Texas saying “Dogs don’t bark at parked cars” came to mind when I read two letters responding to my own, entitled No sure thing (The News, June 5)

I wrote the inconvenient truth that during the time my wife and I sailed around the world working on a variety of freighters and tankers we had never experienced oil leaking from tanks during our combined 40 years afloat, yet stressed that transportation involving machines and humans is always fraught with danger.

Thankfully, my letter provoked two of your readers to be snapping at my heels; on June 8 a frequent contributor, who apparently prefers the whole tar-sands project abandoned, is convinced a coastal supertanker tragedy will definitely happen.

He named three infamous occurrences over the last 23 years, but did not acknowledge that on any given day millions of barrels of oil are safely floating around the world inside thousands of incident-free tankers.

I was delighted the second reader responded on June 15. She quoted two master mariners whom she claims agree with that premise. Having obtained my own Foreign-Going Certificate Of Competency as a master mariner from the British Board Of Trade back in the ‘60s, I could name a whole legion of similarly qualified seamen who would take my stance.

Having logged thousands of miles flying to join vessels in all corners of the world, my wife and I were never involved in an air crash; we travelled by train to join vessels, too, yet never experienced a train-wreck; does that prove the point about inevitability??

In the May 15 news article the lady-writer rides her bicycle on the highway  —   that can be a very dangerous mode of transportation, especially when sharing traffic lanes with logging trucks and road tankers.

There is one inevitability: the China Petroleum & Chemicals Corp. (SINOPEC) has huge financial interests in the tar-sands and Enbridge;  while the Harper Government, who promised transparency, is very probably involved in murky back-room deals that we will never know about —  therefore, it seems inevitable the pipeline will be built. Once again, our personal energy should be utilized to convince governments that bitumen must be refined in Canada.

Bernie Smith





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