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Town Hall Meeting About Kinder Morgan Tar Sands Pipeline
Submitted. The PIPE UP Network, in partnership with the Wilderness Committee, Tanker Free BC and ForestEthics Advocacy, is organizing a town hall meeting in Langley to discuss the potential risks and impacts associated with the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
Rex Weyler, one of the founders of Greenpeace, will join panel members from partner organizations and the Kwantlen First Nation to share facts and answer residents’ questions about pipelines, oil tankers and related climate change implications. The town hall meeting will be held in the auditorium at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Langley Campus) at 7:00 p.m. on March 6, 2013.
New oil pipeline proposals have generated a great deal of public attention over the past year, with much of the news focused on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. However, a growing number of residents in southwestern BC are concerned that Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which is already transporting tar sands products, presents an unacceptable risk.
“Residents want answers to important questions about this pipeline. How risky is the shipment of diluted bitumen? Is there a greater risk transporting it in an old pipeline? Are first responders adequately trained and prepared to deal with diluted bitumen?” said PIPE UP member Michael Hale.
Hale and other residents of southwestern BC formed the PIPE UP network to address these questions and concerns, seeking help from environmental organizations in the region that have been working on this issue. In the past year, members have attended Kinder Morgan’s information sessions, questioned company officials and organized town hall meetings in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. So far, answers they have received from company officials have not been reassuring.
“Kinder Morgan spokespersons have tended to downplay the oil spill risks, making claims that diluted bitumen is no more dangerous than crude oil, that it is easily cleaned up and that past spills on the pipeline route have been quickly contained,” said Ben West, Tar Sands Campaign Director with ForestEthics Advocacy. “All these claims have been disputed by residents of Burnaby and Abbotsford, where there have been four major spills since 2005.”
The existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which began operating in 1953, runs through Langley and other communities in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. If built, the newly proposed project would mean constructing a brand new pipeline alongside the existing route, to facilitate the transport of up to 890,000 barrels of oil per day.
For more information about PIPE UP and the upcoming town hall, visit: www.pipe-up.net