About Tanker Free BC
Tanker Free BC was founded in 2009 by a group of concerned citizens who discovered that tankers loaded with tar sands crude where passing through Vancouver Harbour. Since that alarming discovery we have worked to build a grassroots movement to protect our coast and keep Vancouver from being turned into a tar sands shipping port.
Since the announcement in April of 2012 by Kinder Morgan that they plan to double the size of their Trans-Mountain pipeline and increase the number of tankers that pass through Vancouver harbour from approximately 80 a year to over 400 a year, we have decided to step up our campaign. Look for us out in your community where we will be will be holding town hall meetings, going door to door to talk to folks and online where we will launching a series of provocative videos and building our own online community.
About Kinder Morgan
A lot of attention has been paid to the proposed Enbridge pipeline to Kitimat, BC, which has hit an “unbroken wall of opposition” from more than 160 First Nations that have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration.
But there is an existing pipeline that currently runs from the tar sands to the Burrard Inlet, otherwise known as the Port of Vancouver: the TransMountain pipeline, owned and operated by a company called Kinder Morgan. The pipeline has been in existence for decades serving local consumption, but it had been built to move light oil, which for the most part was refined locally and used for local needs.
In 2005, however, two American billionaires, Richard Kinder and Bill Morgan both former Enron executives, bought the TransMountain pipeline, anticipating that the Harper Government would soon want to sell oil to Asia, specifically China, as well as the US.
Since 2005, Kinder and Morgan have been pushing forward with a plan to twin the TransMountain pipeline, which is currently shipping over a million barrels a month of unrefined tar sands crude oil right past Stanley Park. There was no prior consultation with local First Nations, no consultation with the public – in fact, a private citizen first noticed a 500,000 barrel tanker going past Canada Place in 2008.
But Kinder Morgan are just getting started: they plan to increase shipments up to 890,000 barrels a day by 2016.
Just for comparison, the spill from the Exxon Valdez totalled a mere 250,000 barrels, a quarter of the capacity of a single Suezmax tanker…but a 250,000 barrel spill would cover the entire BC coastline. Valdez, Alaska is still suffering from the Exxon spill two decades later.
Claims that double-hulled tankers can’t be breached have been repeatedly proven false, and in 2009 the Canadian federal government started weakening the Pacific Regional Council on Oil Spill Response. A spill would irreparably harm BC’s economy, the culture and livelihood of its First Nations, and the wildlife and beauty we all love – all good reasons to stop tanker traffic in BC.