Pipelines could be key to our economy

Reader says pipeline may be key component to Canadian economic future

Editor, The News:

Re: ‘Pipelines key to our economy’ (Letters, Nov. 14).

I would agree that pipelines could be a key to Canada’s future. The question is whether this is a positive or negative part of the economy, in particular B.C.’s economy.

Mr. Reicher claims that considering the large volume of product being transported, the industry safety record is extremely good. I guess a leak every 5.5 days is extremely good to people with vested interests and rose colour glasses. The fact is that even if you accept Mr. Reicher’s figure of 99.9985, the actual leakage will still be three or four times the present amount just by the increased volume.

Mr. Reacher acknowledges the fact that Canada and Steven Harper could do more to become less dependent on fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the sad reality is as long as we have Mr. Harper, this situation shall only get worse.

It is also clear that if it was up to oil companies, we would never make that move to clean energy.

I had to chuckle at Mr. Reicher’s use of Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, an Alberta marketing corporation, to make his claim about how dilbit is no different than crude oil and causes no more pipeline breaks than conventional oil.

The reality is dilbit is a corrosive toxic acidic slurry with five to 10 times more sulphur and more chloride salts most resembling grinding compound than oil and which literally sandblasts pipe interiors. Ad it’s inconsistency is prone to developing bubbles and, subsequently, pressure fluctuations.

It’s very nature requires higher pressures and heat to get it to move at all.

The fact is Mr. Reicher you do not think about anything but money, the spills, pollution and subsequent environmental as well as economic damage and the costs that you are sometimes forced to pay are just the cost of doing business and are just passed on to the customer.

The utopian statement that pipeline operators would never jeopardize their safety record and reputation must have really made your nose grow.

Oil companies are in it for the money and they have shown repeatedly all over the world their indifference to the damage they do from Alaska, Brazil, Ecuador, Kalamazoo, Nigeria to Gulf of Mexico and BP, which just paid multi-billions in fines and faces 14 criminal charges – 11 felony counts, even charges of manslaughter.

Does that sound like people who care about the consequences of their actions?

Wayne Clark

Maple Ridge