COMMENTARY · 29th February 2012
A dark stranger is heading British Columbia’s way. We’re told prosperity for all will follow. But what do we really know about this character? Watershed Sentinel decided to investigate. This is what the stranger told us:
My name’s Dil Bit (short for Diluted Bitumen, but let’s not be too formal).
I come from the tar sands and, as you probably know, Alberta totally digs me. She digs me so much, she’s decided I should get around more.
I’m hoping to be passing through British Columbia a lot in the future, so I thought I should introduce myself properly.
As fossil fuels go, I’m a bit unconventional. But, as Alberta’s favourite son Stephen will tell you, I’m totally ethical. (And don’t let those jet setting celebrities tell you any different.)
I’m also way better than conventional crude oil. For instance, my total acid concentrations are up to 20 times higher than conventional crude. My sulphur content is up to 10 times higher and I’m up to 70 times thicker. Pretty impressive, eh?
Yeah, it’s true I can be a bit abrasive. Bits of quartz, pyrite, silicates, sure I carry them around. It’s just the way I’m made. So conventional crude doesn’t have my grit. So what? No need to point out, like those granola eaters at the Natural Resources Defense Council did, that putting me in a pipeline is “like sandblasting the inside of the pipe.”
So what if between my true grit and my thickness (I like to think of it as strength) making the pipes hotter and harder to monitor, I make pipelines 16 times more likely to leak than when they are carrying conventional oil. I already told you I was better.
I’m Alberta’s most precious resource. You think she and Steve are going to let just anyone transport me? No way. For my travels through British Columbia, they’re going to use Enbridge, a fine, upstanding company with an excellent track record. Why, it took Enbridge 10 years to spill half as much oil as the Exxon Valdez. And they didn’t just spill it in one spot – they spread it around.
If Enbridge maintains its current success rate it should be able to meet Steve’s federal standards, which don’t allow undetected pipeline leaks of more than 2% of capacity per week. For the Northern Gateway project that means Enbridge could legally leave 11 million litres of me a week behind on my way to Kitimat without getting into any serious trouble.
That’s good news for me, because I’ve heard there are some mighty pretty places in northern BC and it would be a shame not to get to know them better.
And it’s good news for BC, because the premier’s promising lots of jobs out of oil exports and cleaning up after me will sure keep people employed.
Sorry if any of the spots I’m going to wreck is one of your favourites, but I’ve got to keep Alberta happy. You know what she’s like.
PS If you want to know more about Enbridge’s fine record of oil spills, go to watershedsentinel.ca/content/enbridge-spills.
Miranda Holmes is an associate editor at Watershed Sentinel magazine
Comment by Paul Repstock on 1st March 2012
I am expecting to see American troops guarding "American Oil", on Canadian soil (if there still is such a thing) within two years. The same will hold true for Mexico and possibly Vensuela.
Immediatly following the Middle East and north Africa will become nuclear cinders incapable of producing oil. American Exceptionalism will be assured for generations!
See where the United States gets its oil from.
Those other countries (China and India) get their oil from places which will nolonger exist, like Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan...
How many Americans are going to protest this??
Comment by Paul Repstock on 1st March 2012
As I have said before, do not take everything at face value, there are other agenda running:
Romney promises 'oil from Canada that we deserve'
Read more: http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20120229/romney-michigan-victory-speech-oil-that-we-deserve-remarks-120229/#ixzz1nstGJiT4
There are Mega Bucks being made on every side of this fraud, and the ones making the $10’s of millions per day of profit are not going to give them up willingly. At times, depending on the spread between ‘The American WTI’ price and the ‘World crude oil price’, this “Profit” has amounted to $100 millions per day. That “Profit” comes straight out of Canada’s pockets!
I am certain that the Northern Gateway Pipeline was never meant to be built. They designed the project so dangerous that people were bound to reject it.
In the US the people are howling because their gas price is over $3.00 per gallon?? If you calculate, Canadians are paying over $6.00 for the same sized gallon. And we supply a good fraction of their oil???
Even Terrace Daily is inadvertently playing into their hands by slamming China as an unworthy trading partner. Excuse me, but China has not started any wars in the last 1500 years?? We can hardly say the same about our neighbour which now claims they “Deserve” Canadian oil….
Comment by blocky bear on 1st March 2012
Coming soon to a river and beach nearby!!