We don’t need the pipelines

Reader doesn't want pipelines to move oil and gas for export

To the editor:

Much has been written and said about the two pipelines (one gas, one oil) to cross the province to move oil and gas to the West Coast for export.

Both provincial and federal levels of government see this as a major economic boost to the province and the nation. So far, the negative side has seen this as an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen.

I have spent considerable time looking at the issue and have decided I am against both pipelines for purely selfish reasons.

Provincially, the idea of finding markets for the gas being produced by “fracking” wells in northeast British Columbia appears to make good economic sense. The offshore price for gas is several times the domestic price for natural gas.

But, and in my mind, and it is a very big but, our traditional gas wells have been in decline for some time and their divergence to feed the energy needs of the oil sands is taking an even larger toll. In addition, no one has any real idea what is happening deep underground with the pressure and chemicals used to release relatively small caverns of gas even given there are a multitude of caverns.

If the pattern in B.C. follows that in the United States, then water contamination is a real possibility. However, my primary concern is a declining resource.

What happens when this resource runs out?

Ask the folks in Inuvik, Northwest Territories who will run out of natural gas in less than two years and no one is prepared to find them another well. It is time for all of us to think of another generation rather than how much we can get for this generation.

As for the oil pipeline, the best numbers I can find is that the Oil Sands may produce up to five million barrels per day by 2030.

In that same timeframe, world oil production is forecast to decline by several million barrels per day. On that basis, we need to forget making immediate money for the shareholders and ensure that the product is available to serve our national needs into the future.

My bottom line: no pipelines; keep it for my grandchildren.

 

Jack Witty

108 Mile Ranch