Best solution for B.C. is to shut down oilsands so no pipeline is needed

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To the Editor:

It was with interest that I read Mr. David Black’s columns (May 1 and 8 issues of the Advance). The majority owner of the largest private newspaper in Canada shares his concerns over what he calls “the greatest threat to the B.C. environment in our lifetime.”

I do not agree with him on his solution to ship bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to Kitimat by pipeline, refine it to gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, and ship it by tanker fleets to Asia. While a tanker oil spill would be an environmental disaster, as we know from the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989, a pipeline rupture spilling bitumen into our lakes, rivers or forests would no less be the cause of environmental destruction. Enbridge, the company proposing the Northern Gateway pipeline, does not have a good record in pipeline safety.

I have spent most of my working life in all phases of welded steel pipe production, quality control, material selection and investigation of pipeline blow-ups. I do believe that even with all the latest scientific and technical advances, accidents will happen.

The real solution is to shut down the oilsands, and no pipeline and tanker traffic will be needed. Yes, Mr. Black, the greatest threat to B.C. and to all life on our precious planet is the climate change that is now upon us. The development of the oilsands is only one of the many very large contributing factors to this human-created climate disaster.

Our Creator has provided unlimited energy in sun, wind and geothermal heat, and given us the brains to use it. I firmly believe that we can solve this crisis, we do have all the tools we need.

The time for change is now. The Great Turning is well on the way and people all over the world are doing everything they can to save our beautiful planet. More and more people seem to realize that we do not have the right to destroy what the Creator has so generously provided for us.

Henry Dahle