The following is Terry Etam’s rebuttal to John Horgan’s recent Medium post
Thank you John Horgan for sharing your horrific experience visiting the site of a diesel spill. You are absolutely correct; marine spills are terrible and have impacts.
That doesn’t make it right that you draw such a direct line between a tugboat sinking (of which there are apparently a few) and one incremental pipeline.
While you are “thinking of British Columbians while in Ottawa”, think also about their standard of living which consumes a massive amount of oil, as well. Not just energy, oil. in 2016 BC consumed about 110,000 barrels per day of gasoline and diesel.
Where does this all come from? How does it get there? How many tankers bring it in? Is there zero risk associated with that consumption?
How does the rest of the world survive? More than 50 million barrels per day of crude oil move through marine terminals and on ships. That’s every day, including many that ply BC’s waters. Yes spills are terrible, but are they not terribly rare?
Why is the discussion not about how to build and operate the best spill response system imaginable? BC holds all the cards here; all you have to do is write your own plan, one that would protect your coast not only from any potential Trans Mountain incident, but also from more sinkings of one of the many tugboats. Or that would offer protection as well from a mishap with one of all the tankers carrying oil from Alaska to the continental US, all through BC’s waters.
All you have to do is sit down and help create a plan, and you will be regarded as a true nation building visionary, one that helps solve problems.
Given the way the world works, given BC’s and Canada’s sky-high standard of living, and given the petroleum energy required for all of that, the risks to the beautiful BC coastline are ever present. That is a fact of life. One pipeline expansion will not change that in any meaningful way, just as it doesn’t for any other marine jurisdiction in the world that makes these systems work safely and efficiently. The rest of the country is looking to you to be a partner, and would be more than happy to work with you to create the best spill response system imaginable, for the entire BC coast.
Or, you can be like any other NIMBYist, fighting tooth and nail to protect your own interest at the expense of everyone else.