NEWS RELEASE · 11th April 2013
"We were really surprised when we heard that something had spilled at the Suncor facility in Port Moody,” said ForestEthics Advocacy Tar Sands Campaign Director Ben West.
“At the time we were working on some campaign materials reminding candidates for the upcoming BC provincial election that they should be paying close attention to the nine oil industry spills, leaks, derailments and disasters that have taken place in North America in the last two weeks,” explained West. “And then this happened right here in BC -- amazing.”
City officials have confirmed that approximately 220 barrels of biodiesel were spilled from a storage tank at the Suncor facility in Port Moody. A small amount of that fuel made its way into Burrard Inlet. In the last three weeks other accidents have taken place in Arkansas, Alberta, The North West Territories, Michigan, Texas, Louisiana, Ontario, Newfoundland, and Minnesota.
“Industry just can't win, it has been one signigant failure after another,” said West. “This just as easily could have been a different kind of fuel product in that storage tank that failed to keep the fuel where it was supposed to be. We were lucky this wasn't a tar sands oil spill like in Mayflower, Arkansas where homes had to be evacuated in a community the other week," said West.
Kinder Morgan wants to build a new pipeline from Alberta to export diluted bitumen from a terminal close to where that Suncor storage tank failed this weekend. If approved, there would be more than 400 tankers a year in Burrard Inlet, each carrying three times more oil than spilled from the Exxon Valdez off Alaska.
"Tar sands oil is much more dangerous to human health and the environment than biodiesel, or even conventional crude,” said West.
Last week Suncor was at the centre of one of the numerous high profile oil industry failures, when one of their toxic tailings ponds leaked over 3,500 barrels into the Athabasca River in northern Alberta.
"The oil industry, it seems, has been in total disarray over the last couple of weeks. Even just one major spill would be catastrophic. How many warning signs do we need before the writ has even dropped" said West.
"This election is a key moment for political leaders to step forward to defend our coast and our local communities. We hope these incidents are a wake up call for all BC politicians" said West.