Pipelines & Tankers

 

According to McLeans article of November 29, a biologist with the RAINCOAST CONSERVATION SOCIETY, one Misty MacDuffee, the Kinder Morgan Pipeline will result in an increase of ship traffic in Georgia Strait and the additional noise generated from those 300 ships per year will kill the killer whales.  MacDuffee says the noise will make it impossible for the whales to communicate with one another and they won’t be able to hunt down salmon. Really?

Perhaps Ms. MacDuffee is unaware that 3500 ships visit Vancouver each year. That means 7000 trips between Vancouver and the western entrance to Juan de Fuca. Add to that all the trips by BC Ferries. They make 86 trips per day or over 31,000 trips per year! And that is only counting the major routes. Perhaps BC Ferries should cut service to reduce the underwater cacophony.  Ms. MacDuffee lives on Pender Island.  Maybe ferry service could be cut on that route to once a week.

While there certainly is a degree of risk when deep sea ships are involved, the history of deep sea ships in Georgia Strait had been almost accident free. The last significant event occurred in 1974 when a Russian freighter collided with a BC Ferry in Active Pass.  Consider too, that modern ships have very advanced navigation systems that were unavailable just 15 years ago. Radar, AIS, & chart plotters all make shipping safer. Already, Every Tanker entering or departing from Burrard Inlet is accompanied by 3 tugs ensuring the ship’ safe passage.

Consider that every week several very large Tankers transit Juan de Fuca Strait filled with Alaska oil en route to Anacortes and Cherry Point, in Washington State.  They pass within a few miles of Victoria beaches and go through the San Juan Islands.  Could there ever be an accident.  It’s possible, of course.  But it’s possible your plane will crash on the way to Maui, but you still get on it.

Ms. MacDuffee’s theory is the goofiest thing I have heard in a long time.

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