Activists unveil new oil tanker alerts
Opponents of crude oil exports through Metro Vancouver hope to shine a spotlight on the issue with a new service that beams out text alerts when tankers dock here.
Ben West, a campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, said the aim is to inform more people who often don’t know up to 70 tankers a year enter Burrard Inlet to load up with crude that flows through the region in Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.
“Our goal at the moment is just to raise awareness,” he said, adding no specific protests are planned.
Anyone can subscribe to text message alerts on their cellphone (by texting ‘oil’ 604 800 9180) to get details on tankers as they dock at the Kinder Morgan pipeline terminal in north Burnaby, or they can follow @BurrardInletOil on Twitter.
West is among the environmentalists who hope to block Kinder Morgan’s tentative proposal to more than double the capacity of its pipeline to 700,000 barrels per day.
“All Kinder Morgan is doing is expanding to turn us into a tar sands shipping port,” West said.
Company officials note the pipeline also delivers most of the gasoline used in the Lower Mainland.
But West argues any increased capacity is strictly about its ability to export.
“It’s all about profits for Kinder Morgan and not what’s in the best interest of people in B.C.”
Kinder Morgan hasn’t yet formally proposed the $4-billion pipeline twinning but is testing the appetite of customers for more capacity.