Trans Mountain approval should instead be met with climate change strategies, says Hope local. (File)

Trans Mountain approval should instead be met with climate change strategies, says Hope local

Editor:

In regards to your article: “Hope ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Trans Mountain approval, says mayor,” the article does not explain the “economic boost,” (which) is not backed up by any facts regarding what kind of jobs, how many, and for what duration.

In my opinion, welding and construction jobs would be better spent on assembling wind turbines and solar farms, which would truly benefit the community and would not contribute to the climate crisis as the tar sands and diluted bitumen do.

In regards to rail traffic mentioned in the article, it always has “cut the community in half,” and a pipeline or no pipeline will not alter this fact.

The rail cars that carry petroleum products are carrying bitumen (not diluted bitumen), and although not optimum, bitumen is less corrosive and less volatile than diluted bitumen, and does not spill/flow like diluted bitumen does.

However, for bitumen to flow in pipelines, it is mixed with other materials like kerosene, gasoline and other chemicals the company calls proprietary. By labeling it “proprietary,” the company does not have to disclose what it is, nor how toxic or volatile it is.

It is my belief that this non-disclosure not only endangers the public and first responders during a spill, it also makes clean-up more of a guess job.

And in contrast to what Mayor Robb said about Trans Mountain’s track record being good—I disagree based on the following:

n May 27,2018 – Darfield station north of Kamloops 4,800 litres of medium crude spilled from a leaking flow meter. No shut off for several hours.

n 2012 – Sumas Mountain – 110,000 litres leaked from a holding tank.

n May 6, 2009 – Burnaby Mtn. – 200,000 litres of crude oil seeped from a tank farm.

n July 2007 – 230 cubic meters of crude oil from a ruptured pipeline seeped into Burrard Inlet.

n 2005 – Abbotsford – 210,000 litres from a ruptured pipeline flowed into Kilgard Creek.

If diluted bitumen is spilled in waterways (streams, rivers, lakes, aquifers), it sinks if not cleaned up immediately, and quickly degrades, or weathers, into a substance so chemically and physically different that it defies standard spill response.

I believe the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will not ease the shortage nor ease the prices of gasoline in B.C. because the primary purpose of the expansion project is to move and export diluted bitumen. The Trans Mountain pipeline is currently used to supply oil to four refineries in Vancouver, but will likely begin exporting more oil to U.S. refineries, which resulted in local refining dying off in the 1990s, with the exception of Parkland, formerly Chevron, in Burnaby.

And as the refinery in Burnaby is not set up to refine diluted bitumen, I believe it too will probably close, too.

In conclusion, I believe we would benefit far more in the short term and the long run building electric and hydrogen fueling stations for cars and trucks. These will not only serve the community and contribute to property taxes, but will also help to fight the climate crisis, which is costing us in tax money and in our health.

Sheila Asdal

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