B.C. Green MLA Andrew Weaver okay with Kitimat oil refinery

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      B.C.’s only Green MLA doesn’t think that a new oil refinery on the West Coast is a bad idea.

      To the contrary, Andrew Weaver is convinced that the brainchild of newspaper publisher David Black makes sense.

      “Do I think David Black’s proposal has merit? I do. I think it’s being proposed for the right reasons,” Weaver told the Straight in a phone interview.

      Black is a constituent of Weaver’s in Oak Bay–Gordon Head; the media baron has been promoting a $25-billion plan to refine Alberta’s crude oil in Kitimat. Weaver is one of seven UVic professors and adjunct professors who were among the international cowinners of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize that recognized efforts to understand and counteract climate change caused by human activities such as the burning of oil and other fossil fuels.

      According to the climate scientist, Black’s plan will keep diluted bitumen from being shipped through B.C. waters.

      “That’s important right now because we are already shipping diluted bitumen out of Burnaby,” he said, referring to the Westridge Marine Terminal at the end of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. A joint federal government report dated November 30, 2013, notes that there is little available knowledge of how to deal with ocean spills of diluted bitumen, a sludgy material that could either sink or float as “tarballs”.

      Weaver suggests processing bitumen into a lighter form called “synthetic crude” before the resource is piped from Alberta to the B.C. coast. “But then you still want to keep the upgraded products out of the water, so then you would refine that as well,” he said.

      Weaver said that the B.C. Green Party is “not opposed to oil” because being anti-oil means disagreeing with “everything around us”.

      “We’ve always said we’d like to see a transition as quickly as possible away from fossil-fuel dependence to renewable forms, and if we can use some of the wealth of today to assist us in that transition rapidly, so much the better,” he said.

      Premier Christy Clark has pledged to support a new oil-refinery project.

      Comments

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      18 Comments

      Michael Puttonen

      Feb 5, 2014 at 10:38am

      No discussion from our lone Green about how we can move past our addiction to oil.

      Far from it:

      "Weaver said that the B.C. Green Party is “not opposed to oil” because being anti-oil means disagreeing with “everything around us”."

      Weenie.

      boris moris

      Feb 5, 2014 at 11:37am

      There's something to be said for environmentalists being pragmatic about the realities of a world that has had a petroleum based economy stuffed down our throats at gunpoint. However, maybe Weaver should log onto the Vancouver Sun site today and tell us what he thinks about the friendsofscience.org quacks and their banner headline advert. It's a god damn war for the air we breathe and the water we drink, Weaver, and having you OK an oil refinery on the BC north coast is as bad as having twits like Tzeporah Berman attempting to greenwash the tar sands for an undisclosed quid pro quo.

      The Green Party should stick to sound public advocacy for a greener future...not split progressive votes which allow the political puppets of earth rapers to flourish.

      SIYGPAH

      Real politik

      Feb 5, 2014 at 11:44am

      Typical politician. Appease all sides to get elected. So much for Green hope. Until we get politicians bold enough, with vision, with ideas, will we ever progress to a better future. The only real option humans have is to leave all fossil fuels in the ground, period. Science - which is eagerly ignored by modern politicians - has long been telling us now that we're headed to an uninhabitable planet quickly because of our use of fossil fuels. This is too scary for most people to hear, so they stick their heads in the sand, maintain the status quo, look out for Numero Uno. We don't need compromises, Mr Weaver, we need rapid change of our economy on a massive scale. If BC isn't solely investing in renewable energy technologies like geothermal, wind, tidal, etc., then BC is part of the problem. The Libs LNG plan isn't a solution, just a new way to profit. If people are still driving gas-powered cars, built in factories powered by coal, the metals mined by diesel diggers and shipped globally by diesel container ships, then those people are selfish ignorant child-killers, their behavior only changeable by restrictive laws and restricting products to buy. Everyone will have to live with less, to live more simply, to reject corporate capitalism if we're to survive our impending doom. Anyone who ignores these facts is in a serious case of denial.

      EG

      Feb 5, 2014 at 11:59am

      A new refinery on the west coast to provide oil to BC residents and businesses would be great idea, because the shortage of refineries keeps prices high here.

      But I think this proposal is to refine oil to ship to China. So we get the refinery pollution, we keep our high gasoline prices, and China gets the refined oil.

      Similar "logic" to the LNG proposals.

      Ron

      Feb 5, 2014 at 9:19pm

      I amazed that Weaver has ignored the recent Geological Survey of Canada report that indicates that there is a fault line along the Douglas Channel that triggered an 8.5 metre tsunami that destroyed docks in Kitimat in August,1976.
      Apparently the ten to twenty metre waves of winter storms in Hecate Strait will also be no problem to the supertankers. LOL

      Donald

      Feb 6, 2014 at 1:02am

      “We’ve always said we’d like to see a transition as quickly as possible away from fossil-fuel dependence to renewable forms, and if we can use some of the wealth of today to assist us in that transition rapidly, so much the better,” he said.

      How exactly does expanding fossil-fuel infrastructure help us transition away from fossil-fuel dependence? That's like saying we should smoke less tobacco, so let's sell more tobacco to fund stop-smoking research!

      I've been extremely skeptical of the Green party ever since Carr kicked out Parker, but I still expected better of Weaver!

      Zero Waste Canada

      Feb 6, 2014 at 5:47am

      This guy is an embarrassment. He is also known as a supporter of garbage incinerators in Metro Vancouver "so they can be regulated". We no longer support the BC Green Party! The inmates are running the asylum. Weaver.....Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto supports these very same things, you are in good company!

      Lee L

      Feb 6, 2014 at 2:17pm

      It seems Weaver's more temperate viewpoint has brought out the rabid ecozealots in numbers here. Example:
      "If people are still driving gas-powered cars, built in factories powered by coal, the metals mined by diesel diggers and shipped globally by diesel container ships, then those people are selfish ignorant child-killers, their behavior only changeable by restrictive laws and restricting products to buy".

      Now there's a scary hysterical mouthful.

      You guys ought to remember that Weaver is an actual climate scientist, a modeler who can actually READ the science which you cannot. So the question that arises in my mind is, where did you get your belief that only a deeply oppressive prescription for society will prevent DOOM? And where did you get the idea that DOOM is the result of building a special purpose refinery?

      Margareto

      Feb 6, 2014 at 3:07pm

      How does Mr. Weaver expect to get the dilbit to Kitimat? I thought that the leader of the Green Party would be well aware of the problems with a pipeline crossing many salmon-bearing rivers and streams.

      Billwar

      Feb 6, 2014 at 3:36pm

      the greens will loose support from the environmentalists on this
      one...... The Sierra Club and the Georga Strait Alliance both say that
      that oil is pollution if it is in a pipeline or on a tanker or burned
      in a car and released to the atmosphere. What Weaver is supporting is
      more investment in oil economy infrastructure......and he is also
      supporting the objectives of big capital......including the moneybags oil barons.

      This is the real face of the Greenback Party.