Supertankers: The Number One Reason the Enbridge Plan is a Non-Starter

The Enbridge plan requires that B.C. abandon its oil tanker ban.

The Enbridge project involves a two-way flow of materials in the proposed pipelines – bitumen crude coming west to be pumped into supertankers and other tankers arriving with poisonous and corrosive condensate (diluent) to be pumped east to be added to the bitumen in Alberta to make it capable of flowing along pipelines.

All told, it will mean 225 tanker trips a year. Four or five of these tankers every month will be the supertankers  — capable of holding  2 million barrels of oil or more. These ships are about 1,155 feet long—the length of 3.5 football fields—and 200 feet wide.

Sort of the size of the Empire State Building being navigated through the narrow fjords from Kitimat and out to some of the most treacherous waters on earth, such as the Hecate Strait.

People say “Well, that tanker moratorium came in in 1972. Surely we have better technology now than we used to?”

But in December 2010, the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainable Development, in the Office of the Auditor General, found that Canada lacked the basic tools for preparedness for an oil spill.  Supertankers through those dangerous waters make a spill a near certainty, and we do not have the capability to keep an accident from being a disaster.