Ocean protection plan meaningless if Kinder Morgan is approved

Georgia Strait Alliance responds to federal Oceans Protection Plan

Today, the federal government announced a series of measures related to spill response and marine safety under the banner of the Oceans Protection Plan.

Alexandra Woodsworth, Energy Campaigner at Georgia Strait Alliance, made the following statement in response:

“These welcome and long overdue protection measures are needed to address the threats BC’s west coast faces now from existing shipping traffic and other pressures on our marine environment, not to pave the way for a new bitumen pipeline that raises the risk.”

“None of the measures announced today will be able to protect our ocean, our communities or our endangered killer whales if Kinder Morgan is approved.”

“More funding and equipment doesn’t change the basic fact that no technology currently exists to clean up sunken bitumen. World-class spill response makes a great sound bite for politicians, but it’s the wrong measure of success; what matters is whether we can effectively recover spilled oil, and that simply is not possible for sunken bitumen.”

“Today’s announcement does not mean that BC’s condition for world-leading spill response has been met. Right now, as the Kinder Morgan decision looms, and bad weather threatens new accident off our coast, our capacity to respond has not changed. Calling something world-leading does not make it so overnight. Even once the new measures are fully implemented, many essential world-leading features outlined in the Nuka reports cited by Environment Minister Mary Polak as the foundation for BC’s demands on marine spill response are nowhere to be seen.”

“The National Energy Board found that the Kinder Morgan proposal would cause significant negative impacts on endangered killer whales. Today’s measures promise more monitoring and assessment, but nothing new that can actually protect killer whales from the noise pollution caused by additional tanker traffic. The only way to truly protect the iconic killer whale – and uphold Canada’s Species at Risk Act – is to reject Kinder Morgan.”