Oil transport dilemmas
Pro-pipeline leaders are determined to get the Trans Mountain expansion built; opponents vowed to stop or delay this project. Both sides believe their plan is good for Canada.
The judicial system must protect the rights of both sides. Anti-pipeline groups can sue endlessly about procedures. Haven’t they had enough time for gaining information and voicing complaints? If the courts agree with them, the rights of the propipeline side, losing millions of dollars per day, are jeopardized. Construction workers are left in limbo.
Anti-pipeline activists stress the devastating effect of oil spills on nature. They say less about railway spills.
Reality check: Despite these risks, anti-oil protesters use oil products to propel and lubricate their vehicles, boats, planes and trains. Oil products reach them by high-risk transport: railroad, tanker-ships or tanker-trucks. It seems inconsistent to be antipipeline but using unsafe routes to attain oil for personal use.
The pro-pipeline side highlights oil as a lucrative Canadian resource. The income it generates may trickle down to citizens as jobs, tax-cuts, infrastructure, services and prosperity.
Transporting oil by pipeline is faster, cheaper and safer than by railway. A train with 100 oil cars is actually a 1.6-kilometre pipeline on 800 wheels moving on two steel tracks. These bombs-onwheels run through many cities and towns. If only one of those wheels overheats, or one rail section shifts eight centimetres, it may cause a derailment, spill, explosion and fire. Pipelines usually skirt towns and their spills seldom ignite.
Reality check: Climate change may force humanity within 20 years to abandon the use of fossil fuels for propulsion and electricity. Manufacturers are switching to electric cars. Pipelines may become redundant.
It seems best to sell our oil while it’s still in demand; in the meantime, we should prepare for the day when oil products will be unwanted.
How will the world produce enough power for billions of homes, businesses, streetlights and electric vehicles when coal and oil are banned? Sun, wind and water will not produce enough electricity.
It’s time to start applying research done on hydrogen — a clean, abundant and recyclable energy source, which existed before light (Gen. 1:2-3). Existing cars can be modified to run on either hydrogen or gasoline; they don’t have to be dumped immediately.
Jacob Van Zyl