B.C. NDP says Andrew Weaver's position on a Kitimat oil refinery means the Greens have sold out

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      The B.C. NDP’s environment critic has come out swinging against the Greens.

      According to Spencer Chandra Herbert, the B.C. Green Party has apparently sold out.

      On Thursday (February 6), the Vancouver-West End MLA called the Straight in response to a statement made by Green representative Andrew Weaver regarding the “merit” of an oil refinery planned for Kitimat that would process Alberta crude.

      “It just seems like the Green Party is selling out,” Chandra Herbert said in a telephone interview.

      He acknowledged that the “value-added proposition” in the oil refinery project hatched by newspaper publisher David Black is a “good one”.

      However, the New Democrat said he doesn’t see how laying a pipeline like Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway to feed a refinery makes sense.

      “If the Green Party’s argument has been, as ours has been, as the B.C. Liberal government’s has been, if you can’t even respond to an oil spill or a leak from a pipeline along much of that route, how could you support a refinery at the end of it?” Chandra Herbert asked.

      He described that as the “flaw in Andrew’s argument”.

      “It’s like, ‘We don’t support the pipeline, but we support the refinery at the end’. Well, are you going to airlift the oil? It doesn’t work,” Chandra Herbert said.

      “I don’t see how you can have it both ways,” he continued. “You can’t claim to support a refinery, but then be against how you get the oil to that refinery.”

      In comments that were not included in the story that appeared in this week’s Georgia Straight, Weaver said that “B.C. Greens have agreed and accepted the five conditions of the B.C. Liberal government” for the construction and operation of oil pipelines in the province.

      As outlined by the provincial government in July 2012, these conditions include the completion of an environmental review process, a world-leading marine oil spill response, top of the line practices for land oil spill prevention, respect for aboriginal rights, and for B.C. to get a “fair share” of the economic benefits of a “heavy oil project”.

      “We have added a sixth condition,” Weaver said.

      And that is there should be no transport of diluted bitumen both on land, which means through a pipeline, and coastal waters.

      What he’s suggesting is processing bitumen in Alberta into a lighter form – synthetic crude – before it is piped to B.C.

      The MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head went on to say that that synthetic crude should be further processed by an oil refinery in Kitimat to produce gasoline and other end products.

      According to Weaver, the environmental risks posed by shipping gasoline and diesel are less compared to a spill of diluted bitumen at sea.

      He noted that putting gasoline on ships and barges is being done “anyway now”, for example, in meeting the fuel needs of Vancouver Island.

      “So it’s not as if that’s not going on all over the world,” Weaver said. “It’s just the heavy stuff that’s a real problem.”




      Feb 7, 2014 at 11:07am

      The Greens are a Liberal party.

      Gary Sniper

      Feb 7, 2014 at 11:46am

      What colour does your face turn when you are sick... GREEN... definitely without leadership, no real ideas, support the wrong stuff


      Feb 7, 2014 at 12:48pm

      Interesting how the NDP is simply against everything rather than looking for solutions. Imagine how an NDP Government would get nothing done? Oh, but we already have seen that in the 1990's. Time to move forward folks, not backwards!
      Some would say the NDP long ago sold out to one special interest group - what happened to representing all BC voters?


      Feb 7, 2014 at 1:09pm

      if our nation is going to move forward with the tar sands and other fracking ventures(against tax payers opinion)it would only seem right that we refine our own bitumen rather than take the risk involved in piping it to another location or country.
      when bitumen is shipped via any pipeline it is exempt from pipeline spill tax making it cheaper to ship than oil or gas, this needs to be changed. bitumen is far more difficult to clean up when spilled into waterways than gas or oil. it does not float on top but sinks directly to the bottom and stays in the water source for years; therefore it should be more heavily taxed than other oil products.
      canada was once a proud country. we were considered the stewards of the land, keeping it for generations not yet come. now we are the largest polluters with the largest fracking sight in the world! how did we get here from there? what changed to make our greedy government begin the wholesale of our natural resources? what is in it for them, i often wonder as i watch crime minister heartless harper sell our children's future down the river to the highest bidder. where are all the crazy people when you need a good sniper? why have canadians not gone postal yet? could be something in the water....

      Lee L

      Feb 7, 2014 at 1:27pm

      @Gary Sniper .. you said: "no real ideas, support the wrong stuff"

      So what WOULD be the right stuff to support bearing in mind that China WILL get its crude from Russia if not from Canada, and that Russia WILL (very likely) go looking for that crude under the Arctic seabed where the dangers of a blowout like BP had but in the inaccessible Arctic are not just the usual exaggerations of ecozealots? What WOULD be the right stuff to support?

      Arthur Vandelay

      Feb 7, 2014 at 2:14pm

      You see Spencer, this is the difference between a real political party and a protest movement. They realize that in the real world, sometimes you have to do things that are the lesser of two evils. Only in fantasy worlds can one accomplish things that are always 100% perfect all the time. This is the reason the NDP can snatch defeat from the jaws of sure victory, because real world voters simply don't believe that governments who operate only in a theoretical world can accomplish anything in the real world.


      Feb 7, 2014 at 2:29pm

      Hey, if anybody knows about selling out, it'd be the ndp. Spencer should consider that maybe the greens actually looked at the facts instead of just being the party of NO.

      Nicholas Ellan

      Feb 7, 2014 at 6:40pm

      Weaver's proposal makes no economic sense. I agree that it would be ideal to refine oil domestically into its final products - this would create many, many jobs. But that would also entirely eliminate the need for a port-based refinery, as why would we ship gasoline overseas when there is so much domestic demand for it? The whole point of these raw-export proposals is profiteering at the expense of jobs, enabled by free-trade agreements in the 80s and 90s which dismantled the protections which prevented this. By all means, let's end raw exports. Why don't the Greens just say that?

      boris moris

      Feb 7, 2014 at 8:28pm

      Weaver believes he's making the best of a bad situation. He's making a compromise instead of showing leadership.

      Compromise this, Weaver: ======0

      I guess those of us who actually believe we're living on borrowed time due to climate change will have to depend on First Nations to stop the pipeline dead in its tracks. The oceans are almost toast, adequate fresh water supplies are at grave risk and toxins continue to proliferate everywhere. How about putting the brakes on development and dial it all back. Sure, people in first world would have to make many harsh sacrifices....kind of like those in the third world who have had to forego life spans much above 40 years due to malnutrition because Western powers have been looting their resources for centuries while propping up brutal despots.

      How about just saying no to turning Alberta and Canada into a toxic wasteland. How about not driving 400 hp parade floats so you can look proud at the junk food palace and keep pace with your equally moronic friends.

      Pipeline? Who in their right mind would trust BC Liberals or Harper to actually have world class spill response? Just yesterday we learned that a major pipeline blowout was kept secret by the feds.

      Lee L

      Feb 8, 2014 at 12:05am

      @Rantin' Boris Morris ... you said:

      "those of us who actually believe we're living on borrowed time due to climate change"
      BOris, this belief you have is not unique. A THINKING person will believe the same thing. A THINKING person knows that we are due within a short time ( geologic time) to exit this cosy interglacial which you have misconstrued as NORMAL and will reenter the deep cold of the ICE AGE we still live in. This deep cold will result in massive SPECIES DEPLETION and perhaps the extinction of the human life form. You and I will be long gone, but near future generations will have to deal with it and quite possibly will die out from it. It's normal.