NEWS RELEASE · 6th May 2010
Environmentalists and First Nations raise their concerns at AGM
Enbridge will proceed with its project to bring the first oil supertankers to Canada's pacific coast despite clear and growing opposition in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the company announced at its Annual General Meeting yesterday.
“I want to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’,” said Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel. He expects tar sands crude to be flowing through BC’s coast by 2016.
But environmentalists and First Nations that attended the AGM say that some things are priceless and not up for negotiation.
“British Columbians are not going to jeopardize their coast and wild salmon for Enbridge’s profits,” said Nikki Skuce, Energy Campaigner for ForestEthics. “CEO Patrick Daniel doesn’t seem to get that the opposition will do whatever it takes to stop this project. He’d be better off taking a leadership role by putting an end to Northern Gateway before dragging it out to its inevitable demise.”
In March, BC’s Coastal First Nations declared a moratorium on oil tanker traffic and singled out Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project as unwelcome.
“At last year’s AGM, Pat Daniel said he didn’t want to push a project that was ‘opposed and of concern to others’”, said Eric Swanson, Campaigner for Dogwood Initiative. “Since then, the opposition has snowballed, the Gulf is slick with oil, and we know that what Pat really meant was that he didn’t like hearing ‘No’, but would push ahead regardless.”
Speaking to shareholders, CEO Pat Daniel said that Northern Gateway is important because the “world is hungry for energy”.
“But if the wild salmon are gone, you can’t eat money,” said John Ridsdale, Hereditary Chief of the Wet’suwet’en. “That’s why we’re saying no. Not maybe. Not a no that can be turned to a yes. Our resolve is clear.”
The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline would carry dirty oil over 1,100 kilometres from the tar sands to Kitimat, where it would be loaded onto supertankers bound for foreign markets. Those tankers – some 225 per year – would navigate the same waters where the Queen of the North sank in 2006.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 10th May 2010
I don't recall mentioning you at all. I responded to the issue and the pronoun "you" refers to anyone in general who infers faith in corporations by attacking the environmental movement without commenting on the short comings of the other side. Your post was one-sided and didn't reflect or state that you were also skeptical about the claims of the corporation. I sure didn't see it. Either way maybe the offense you took to my rhetorical question was of your own creation. The fact remains that exporting our non renewable oil resource is pretty short-sighted and even dumb in today's economy.
How would anyone read "The problem I have with many in the vocal environmental sector is that I don't trust them, just as many don't trust Enbridge." Now if you had written "I" instead of "many" in the last sentence you would have a point.
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 9th May 2010
Helmut, I never said there was no risk, nor did I ever say I give all my trust to for profit corporations (By the way, that is what most corporations want whether they are big or small) but I was saying that the environmental groups have their own agendas.
As for keeping our resources for our own use, I admit that I agree with you at least in part.
It would be a real improvement on these online discussions though if you could avoid telling (sometimes not very subtly) those who don't have the exact same opinion as you that they are stupid. No, I am not naive, and no I am not stupid.
Isn't there a bigger issue here.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 8th May 2010
The pipeline is for the sole purpose of exporting an non renewable Canadian resource. Never mind the Douglas Channel is a narrow channel and tankers are huge. Never mind the environmental risks. Don't try to say there are none. This is for exporting a non renewable resource when the price of gas is already 109 per litre so other countries can develop and compete with us with inexpensive oil we provide. Does that make sense? Are we so short-sighted.
So you don't trust an environmental group. Fair enough, but are you saying you trust a for profit corporation like Enbridge to tell you the straight goods? Are you that naive?
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 8th May 2010
I am not in the "naysayer" camp. I agree with James, most of the comparisons made by the environmental groups are designed to scare, and with the current spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if people voted against Enbridge in an online poll.
Funny, I just saw on the news the other day that oil tankers have been quietly going in and out of Burrard Inlet for 20+ years, and now they want to increase those movements. Are the environmentalists not making a huge deal about that because one hasn't run aground??
And all the comparisons to the Exxon Valdez are also a bit of a stretch. There are no icebergs to navigate past, there is no narrow point where one must navigate between a reef and icebergs, and as James said, there were no pilots or tugs. The Exxon Valdez was also running with the assistance of outdated radar. I could go on....
The problem I have with many in the vocal environmental sector is that I don't trust them, just as many don't trust Enbridge. In both cases (Enbridge and the environmentalists) they are simply promoting their career choice. And the use of terms like "dirty oil" are well thought out and calculated, to promote their side. Just as they decided to rename our whole central coast of BC "the Great Bear Rainforest" because they will get much more support (including financial) when it has a name people connect to. Not that it isn't a nice name.
And all that "dirty oil" is supporting quite a few families in this area already. There are people working in Ft Mac and sending money home, because they can no longer find a good paying job in this beautiful area.
That situation is only going to get worse over time.
Just one time
Comment by Walter Fricke on 8th May 2010
Hey Jim, I think you may have your facts a little off course. You are right, there will be two tugs, but only one will be tethered for the entire trip. The other will be following in case there is an emergency. It takes several minutes to run a line from the second tug to the Very Large Crude Carrier(VLCC). In some of the very narrow points, or one of the two 110 degree turns these VLCC's will need to make during the Douglas Channel transit, one mechanical, or hydraulic problem, and you do not have any time to react, let alone hook a line. One oil spill can decimate an entire way of life.
It is kinda insane, the comparitive agenda
Comment by Martin Wiebe on 7th May 2010
The Forest Ethics folks refer to "Dirty Oil" cause it is "Dirty Oil", in comparison to Saudi Oil and most other oil which doesn't destroy habitat along with huge tracts of lands and rivers and take huge energy to extract. The Tar sands oil is the worst example (or best maybe) of human insanity. Sacrificing the future for the present. And Mr Ippel, those two on the bridge of the BC fairy were in charge, as was the second officer was on the Exxon Valdez. They were humans as will be all others who pilot the tugs and the bathtubs of "Dirty Crude slop".
My last look at the poll on this site showed huge numbers dead against this proposal, almost two to one. It may be that the people that post are the people that live here and do not want this stuff to ruin our environment. If that makes me an environmentalist, so be it, but don't put me in with the ganga smokin crowd, put me in with the chain saw toting woodsman who wants to go fishing on his time off. Just cause I care about my community, my society, doesn't make me a socialist.
Comment by James Ippel on 7th May 2010
""Those tankers, some 225 per year, would navigate the same waters where the Queen of the North sank in 2006""
First off, the Queen had two people (ex-lovers, it has been reported) neither qualified to navigate Ferry, on the Bridge. Are you suggesting that the oil tankers will not have qualified personnel on the Bridge. It is my understanding that there will be Pilots at the helm when navigating these waters, not the Captain of the Ship.
It has already been made public that two Ocean going tugs will be attached to the Tankers as they navigate Douglas Channel, and having seen one of the smaller tugs, I am impressed with its size. I would guess, and it is only a guess, that these Tankers would also have side thruster propellers to assist in plying Douglas Channel. To me that would seem reasonable, and a terrific safety feature.
I am well aware that I go against the grain when I do no agree with the naysayers, but it seems to me that only the naysayers post. Surely there are enough intelligent individuals out there that do not blindly accept what the environmentalists say. Their agenda is portray only the worst case scenario, and turn a blind eye to anything that does not agree with their philosophy.
not so hidden agendas
Comment by Bryan Notheisz on 6th May 2010
Putting aside totally the pro/con discussion on Enbridge, it becomes very clear that this is anything but journalism (I am aware this was a submission) when we get to the line "will carry dirty oil 1100km's." Forest Ethics, you lost me right there.
Is there a clean oil??