B.C. a playground for eco-stunts

If the propaganda flowing over “tar sands” crude shipments across B.C. were oil, the province would be out of deficit by now.

Oil tanker loads at Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

VICTORIA – If the propaganda flowing over “tar sands” crude shipments across B.C. were oil, the province would be out of deficit by now.

U.S.-funded professional environmentalists and their aboriginal partners lined up with the NDP last week to peddle a range of half-truths and falsehoods about proposals to pipe diluted bitumen from Alberta to a new port at Kitimat, where tankers would deliver it to Asian markets.

They staged a slick news conference in Vancouver where they claimed to have a seamless wall of aboriginal communities the length of B.C. opposing the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. A 10-year-old girl in a cedar bark hat warned of devastation to the coastal ecology, providing the kind of emotional visual that appeals to urban television audiences who know and care little about science or resource industries.

This event was co-ordinated with the publication of a report warning of huge risks from piping “tar sands” crude. The report was produced by the Natural Resource Defence Council, the Living Oceans Society and the Pembina Institute.

These three obscure organizations are among those identified by independent researcher Vivian Krause on her website. These and other environmental groups have received millions from U.S.-based foundations in recent years.

Here’s one of many examples of the money trail that Krause has followed. U.S. tax returns show the Pembina Institute and a B.C. environmental group were paid $200,000 by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc. in 2006-07 “to prevent the development of a pipeline and tanker port” on the B.C. coast.

The same Rockefeller fund has investments in competing pipelines going south.

Documenting this huge money spill, Krause concludes that U.S. interests are working to stop Canada from exporting oil to Asia so the U.S. will be the only market available. They dress it up as environmentalism; we fall for it.

Not surprisingly, the latest “tar sands” scare report was seized on by the B.C. NDP.

“The pipeline goes over mountains, across farmland, over the Fraser and Skeena Rivers and straight through the Great Bear Rainforest to the Pacific, where it will be picked up by supertankers trying to navigate our inland coastal waters,” said NDP environment critic Rob Fleming.

Fleming parroted the report’s claim that diluted bitumen is more likely to cause corrosion in pipes and tankers.

Enbridge issued a statement refuting the study. Its oldest bitumen pipeline went into service in 1979, and “a complete metal loss inspection of this line in 2009 revealed no increased risk or incidence of internal corrosion.”

Oh, and the proposed pipeline route doesn’t cross the Fraser River. And claims of a huge increase in greenhouse gases from “tar sands” compared to conventional oil are grossly exaggerated. (The vast majority of emissions from all crude sources come when the refined fuel is burned to truck in your groceries or get you to work.)

B.C.’s own Wilderness Committee chimed in, but this eco-show was organized by the local branch office of San Francisco-based ForestEthics. Those are the folks who blessed us with the faux-aboriginal name “Great Bear Rainforest.”

A similar campaign is underway against expansion of the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, which brings Alberta oilsands crude to ships heading out under the Lions Gate bridge and winding through the Gulf and San Juan Islands to Asia.

Tankers have been loading “tar sands” oil in Burnaby for about six years now, but the enviro-propagandists didn’t notice until a couple of years ago. Up until then, Fleming and his colleagues raged about maintaining a “moratorium” on B.C. tanker traffic that never existed.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey boy, 11, hopes to raise $3,000 for Sources – and be Prime Minister

White Rock Coldest Night of the Year event to take place Feb. 22

Recharged Sharks aim for playoffs after ‘well-earned’ break

Bayside rugby club mixes youth with returning veterans in quest for men’s Div. 1 title

Pedestrian fatality in Surrey

Police are investigating at 183 Street and Highway 10

Spring is looming – what are you most looking forward to?

Spring is looming – what are you most looking forward to?… Continue reading

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Most Read