Stephen Harper's Recent Embrace Of 'Science' Is Laughable!
"A Calgary columnist remarked petulantly last week that British Columbians are "suffering from a collective case of anticipatory anxiety." Damn right we are.
An oil "spill" isn't something that can be cleaned up with a paper towel. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency faced the first ever major spill of diluted bitumen into water (the Kalamazoo River) two years ago. It found that the lighter chemicals in "dilbit," as it's called, evaporated and the bitumen sank to the bottom sediments. Skimmers and oil booms proved useless.
Cleanup was estimated at 10 times the cost of conventional oil-spill cleanup.
If there is a supertanker accident off the coast, how does our reduced Coast Guard react? Enbridge's "shoreline protection consultant" says that, though Enbridge's liability ends at the end of the pipe, its spill "management plan" will be "state of the art," whatever that means.
The Western Canada Marine Response Corp. would likely be called in with the skimmers, booms, pumps and absorbent pads that are in caches along the coast. The company has 22 employees, and would rely on other marine response companies around the globe to help. The company says it would take between six and 72 hours to respond, longer if there's a storm. By then, how much sludge is sinking to smother life on the sea bottom and washing ashore? Skimmers and booms don't do much in heavy seas, anyway.
We don't need "science" to warn us that we face "significant adverse environmental effects," which Harper may find "justified in the circumstances."
Victoria Times Colonist