I listened to the hot air on Saturday, July 7 at the Jennifer Atchison Environmental Centre.
? The current pipeline was built in 1953. It's 59 years old, long past the declared service life in documents filed by the previous owner Trans Mountain Pipeline. They anticipated 30 to 35 years before failure.
? The current pipeline is how 70 per cent of fuel gets to the Lower Mainland. This is the "finished" product to the tank farms, the crude to British Petrol at Cherry Point, Washington and to Chevron in Burnaby.
? It's not a question of when the current pipeline fails. It's a question of when, where and what product was being carried at the time. The most probable point is where it crosses the Fraser River, and the most probable product will be heavy crude for Chevron or for export at Westridge Marine Terminal.
That's why I was in disbelief that a responsible member of our federal government could propose that the "solution" is to give Chevron priority use of the pipeline. That's like knowing the brakes on your car are failing and letting your teenager drive it to get what's left of its lifetime. The pipeline must be replaced before it fails.
We should be trading the right to "twin" the pipeline with a demand that the current pipeline be replaced with a new pipeline protected with modern coating technologies.
We should have the federal government and Kinder Morgan explore the possibility of the export portion of the twin pipeline going to a safer terminus than Westridge. Why should we risk Burrard Inlet when safer alternatives are possible at Westport, Tsawwassen or Cherry Point?
Stephen Walker, Burnaby