Remember the Valdez

How does the B.C. coast benefit from the proposed Enbridge pipeline project? Yes, there would be jobs created during the construction phase, but once the oil starts flowing and the ships start steaming south and west, the jobs will dry up.

How does the B.C. coast benefit from the proposed Enbridge pipeline project? Yes, there would be jobs created during the construction phase, but once the oil starts flowing and the ships start steaming south and west, the jobs will dry up.

That is, of course, until there is an oil spill. While devastating to the environment, a spill, especially a major oil spill, is good for the temporary job market. Many may have forgotten that back in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez leaked her load all over the B.C. coast, thousands of people in B.C. and Alaska were hired to clean up the sticky, tarry mess along the entire stretch of Alaskan, Northern B.C. and Vancouver Island coastline.

Enbridge has pointed out spills are not inevitable and are rare.

As rare as the Valdez accident, listed as one of the world’s major oil spills and one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters in history. But given there is a listing of more than 100 major oil spills, how rare are they really?

Also disturbing is the size of ships that would be carrying their oily cargo on the coast. These kings of the sea make the Exxon Valdez look like a cruise ship. A conservative estimate of a half million barrels of oil leaked from the Valdez. These ships could carry almost four times that.

Yes environmental practices and regulations have improved, but nothing is foolproof. And the environment should not be put at risk to prove otherwise.