Robert Bateman has destroyed one of his paintings in a demonstration against the possibility of oil tankers passing through B.C.’s Douglas Channel.
On Dogwood Initiative’s Web site, Bateman appears in a video ruining a painting of orca whales. Painting over the work of art, he says, “If there is an oil spill, we are going to see serious destruction and deterioration. It could be disaster for one of the most glorious parts of the planet.”
Today (March 24) marks the nineteenth anniversary of the Exxon Valdez’s catastrophic oil spill off the coast of Alaska. In that accident, 41.8 million litres of crude oil was leaked into the surrounding waters, which contaminated roughly 2,080 km of coastline.
Environment groups argue that the possibility of oil spills in B.C. coastal waters will significantly increase as operations based in Alberta’s tar-sands expand into B.C.
The proposed passage of oil tankers through B.C. coastal waters is part of Enbridge Inc.’s Gateway Initiative.
The Gateway initiative would build a 1,200-kilometre pipeline that would carry oil from Strathcona County, near Edmonton, to Kitimat, B.C. At Kitimat, the oil would be transferred to tankers which would travel along Douglas Channel.
An online petition against oil tankers passing through Douglas Channel and other areas of B.C.’s coastal had garnered over 5,400 signatures at the time of publication.