‘Come hell, high water or a refinery’

Why not build the refinery in Alberta and minimize the bitumen pollution that would result from a pipeline failure?

David Black, owner of Black Press, says he wants to build an oil refinery in Kitimat.

He claims coastal pollution would be less harmful if a tanker carrying refined petroleum products, rather than diluted bitumen, has an accident.

I’m befuddled. Why not build the refinery in Alberta and minimize the bitumen pollution that would result from a pipeline failure? The Alberta option would also eliminate the added expense of building a recycling pipeline for the toxic distillate used to thin that gooey heavy oil.

I can think of two reasons: One, refining crude oil requires enormous quantities of water, and two, Enbridge intends to ship bitumen out of Kitimat come hell, high water or a refinery.

When I heard the company spearheading the bitumen refinery proposal was called Kitimat Clean Ltd., I instantly thought of George Orwell’s book 1984. In that fictional tale about tyranny, the Ministry of War is called the Ministry of Peace and the Ministry of Propaganda is called the Ministry of Truth.

Kitimat Clean sounds like a name dreamed up by a team of public relation consultants after they consumed too many martinis. Hopefully Mr. Black will not misuse the power of his newspapers (more than 80 of them are here in B.C.) to limit criticism of the Northern Gateway project and thereby manipulate public information. As anyone can see, there is now the potential for a conflict of interest.


Lloyd Atkins, Vernon


Build it in Alberta


Re: “$13B oil refinery proposed for Kitimat,” The Leader, Aug. 21.

David Black claims that building a $13-billion oil refinery at Kitimat would solve half of the problem by shipping refined gasoline, jet fuel and diesel in tankers instead of heavy crude.

Why go halfway when you could go all the way to a 100-per-cent solution to this problem?

Build the oil refinery near the oil pipeline-friendly B.C.-Alberta border area, where it would receive quick approval.

Not only would this be a 100-per-cent solution to a crude oil spill in a highly sensitive ecosystem, it would also save millions of dollars in not having to parallel this pipeline with a second return pipeline carrying thinning fluids removed from the crude oil prior to being loaded on oil tankers destined for Asia.

This would also be an alternative solution to an Alberta plan to ship their oil to Valdez, Alaska on a pipeline on rails or reversing the Mackenzie Valley pipeline to carry crude oil if the Northern Gateway pipeline is rejected.


Fred Perry, Surrey

Surrey North Delta Leader