By John Stark
While the Keystone XL pipeline and coal export proposals such as the Gateway Pacific Terminal in Whatcom County are getting a lot of attention, crude oil pipeline/export proposals are becoming a focus of greater concern partly because of the potential increase in tanker traffic just north of the border.
In an effort to respond to fears about the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipeline proposals, Canadian officials have announced a plan to review oil tanker safety regulations and add new laws and penalties. Read the Reuters report here, via gCaptain.
Here is a recent report from the Financial Post about Kinder Morgan’s existing operations and its expansion plans. This report notes strenuous opposition from First Nations groups, as well as the mayors of Burnaby and Vancouver.
Tankers laden with crude oil enter Whatcom County waters regularly en route to the BP and Phillips 66 refineries, carrying oil from Alaska and other sources.
Canadian energy companies now hope to export Alberta tar sands crude by sea from ports in British Columbia. Canadian federal officials are expected to make a decision on the Enbridge project before the end of the year. The terminal for that pipeline is at Kitimat, east of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Kinder Morgan, already operating a pipeline with a terminal in the Vancouver, B.C. area, has yet to apply for regulatory approval of its planned expansion of that pipeline. Here is a critical report on its environmental risks, prepared by a coalition of environmental groups.
A map included with this report from the Sierra Club indicates that tankers leaving the Kinder Morgan site would skirt the western edge of the San Juan Islands.