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VIEW: Premier Clark's position on BC refinery seems 'deluded'

[Editor's note: The Tyee received this unsolicited release from ForestEthics Advocacy, and we offer it for your consideration. During the election season, we'll post various perspectives as we receive them on The Tyee's Election Hook, labelled clearly as "VIEW."]

Premier Christy Clark suggested yesterday that her government would support media mogul David Black's proposal to build a refinery in Kitimat supplied with tar sands oil from the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

"This is a confusing position for Premier Clark to take; it seems to suggest that she may be moving towards supporting the Enbridge pipeline and she appears to be acknowledging that diluted bitumen from tar sands is more dangerous than conventional oil" said ForestEthics Advocacy Tar Sands Campaign Director Ben West. "In this case, then why would she support moving this kind of oil across so many sensitive regions of our province in a pipeline?"

The Enbridge oil spill in Kalamazoo Michigan highlighted that diluted bitumen from the tar sands is much more dangerous and difficult and expensive to clean up than conventional oil. Industry has claimed that diluted bitumen is no more dangerous than conventional oil, and this has been a point of contention at the Enbridge Joint Review Panel hearings. David Black has suggested that the dangers of diluted bitumen was a key reason for building this refinery in B.C.

In recent months the BC Liberal government has been increasingly critical of the Enbridge pipeline proposal, even suggesting it may not meet the premier's five conditions to determine if her government would support the project.

"Clearly the people of B.C. are overwhelmingly opposed to this pipeline project. If Clark thinks this refinery proposal will change how people feel about it, her perspective is deluded. People in B.C. don't want tankers off the northern coast, regardless of what kind of fuel they are transporting," said West.

The B.C. election is fast approaching, and the issue of building tar sands pipelines from Alberta to the B.C. coast is expected to be a major issue on the minds of B.C. voters.

"Given how aggressively Prime Minister Harper has been pushing these pipelines we will be looking for a leader who will stand up for B.C." said West. "We need to know in no uncertain terms where politicians stand. Premier Clark's position is even murkier now than it already was," said West.

ForestEthics Advocacy's website is here.

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