The Alberta tar sands and their potentially catastrophic impact on the global climate taken as understood, and referring only to British Columbia: as the name “Spills Inevitable” indicates, given pipelines and tankers, there will be spills. It is not if but when, not just probable but inevitable. It has happened many times before and will happen again, and we won’t have to wait for long.
Pipeline catastrophes by Enbridge alone, over only the last decade, how about this?:
2001 – Alberta, Canada – 1,003,800 gallons
2002 – Minnesota, USA – 252,000 gal
2003 – Wisconsin, USA – 189,000 gal
2007 – N. Dakota, USA – 9,030 gal
2007 – Wisconsin, USA – 176,000 gal
2009 – Alberta, Canada – 168,000 gal
2010 – N. Dakota, USA – 126,000 gal
2010 – Michigan, USA – 877,000 gal
2011 – NWT, Canada – 63,000 gal
For a sense of scale, the Michigan spill could fill 1.5 Olympic sized swimming pools.
Worse for a tar-sands-crude spill is that, unlike normal crude, the “dilbit” (diluted bitumen) is heavier than water, and therefore will sink to the bottom of creeks, rivers, lakes, seas and oceans, there to poison the entire ecosystem for years to come, in larger cases, for decades if not centuries. They cannot be contained with booms. They cannot be cleaned up without further major damage being done. And their volatile components, such as benzene and PAHs, all carcinogenic, will poison the air around the spill site for miles around. If a spill occurs near a major city, entire city-sectors would have to be evacuated. Take the Kalamazoo spill in Michigan again, even after 2 years and millions of dollars spent, 35 miles of the Kalamazoo River remains a poisonous dead zone.
Likewise for a tanker spill of dilbit into BC waters. Too bad we cannot ask the ex-mayor in Alaska who committed suicide over the Exxon Valdez “spill” of over 11 million gallon (over 19 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth). The clean-up cost for a major “accident” in or near Vancouver Harbour will amount to $40 Billion (with a “B”) or more. The horrific environmental damage notwithstanding, who will pay this bill? Hint: Enbridge takes little responsibility for a spill on land, and zero responsibility for a tanker spill.
The only acceptable outcome is NO SPILL, and the only way to ensure no spill is NO PIPELINES and NO TANKERS.
This Initiative will ask BC voters three questions, on whether they want more Kinder Morgan pipelines in BC, whether they want the Enbridge Northern Pipeline in BC at all, and whether they want more tanker traffic in southern BC and any tanker traffic in northern BC waters at all.
Please vote: NO! NO!! and NO!!!
Cast a handful of sand at a glass barrier, or a rock: which will break through is plain to see. This province-wide Initiative is the rock that can break the federal and corporate tyrrany.
According the [Recall and Initiative Act] of Elections BC:
The project, if it goes all the way, will have two main phases: the Initiative Petition and the Initiative Vote.
In the Initiative Petition phase, the Proponent forces are required to collect the certified signatures of at least 10% of the registered voters in each and every one of the 85 electoral districts in the province, with no exception, within a predetermined 90-day period. If 84 electoral districts turned in 15%, and just one turned in 9.9%, the whole Initiative Petition fails. In contrast, WA and OR require only 5% from anywhere in the state, and at that to be collected in 150 days. Obviously, extra diligence and support are required for the success of a BC Initiative, but this is not all.
Elections BC specifies that there should be just one “Proponent”, singular, who has to be a BC voter, an individual, i.e. not a group or organization, whereas the “Opponents”, plural, can be an alliance or coalition of any number of individuals, groups and organizations. Aside from the blatant inequality, no doubt, the Opponent-forces will have millions of oil-dollars at their disposal.
When the project is ready for launch, the Proponent will submit the application, containing a draft bill, to Elections BC. Upon finalization of the wording in the draft bill, Elections BC will publish a notice in The Gazette, at which point the official clock will start ticking – on the Proponent. Not until then will he receive the formal volunteer canvasser sign-up sheets from Elections BC. He will have the ensuing 60 days to formally sign up the 7000+ volunteers needed to collect all the required signatures in all the 85 electoral districts.
This 60-day Volunteer-Sign-Up Period will be immediately followed by the 90-day Initiative-Petition-Signature-Gathering Period, and not until then will he receive the Initiative Petition forms – one distinct set for each electoral district. In contrast WA and OR use just one standard Petition form for the entire state.
The time frame for this “Spills-Inevitable” Initiative has been set as follows:
November 1 to December 31, 2012 – the 60-day Volunteer-Sign-Up Period,
January 1 to march 31, 2013 – the 90-day Initiative-Petition-Signature-Gathering Period.
If we make the signature quota, we will move on to the Initiative Vote phase in 2014, to prepare for which the momentum of the public outreach will be maintained throughout, to maximize on the public awareness of the truth, and opposition to pipelines and tankers in BC.
Presumably, the Opponents will attempt to do the same, but with lies, but in the end, truth will set us free.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
“Together we stand; divided we fall.”
Anthony Marr, Proponent-to-be