Members of the BC Clean Technology Industry have issued an open letter for B.C. Premier John Horgan expressing strong support for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP). They say it's the best path forward—both for Canada's economic interests, and for the environment.
The letter points out that blocking the construction of TMEP could derail recent Canadian progress on the climate change agenda.
"We write to express our strong concern about the opposition by the BC government to the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. We believe the path to a stable climate is long and arduous with no easy short cuts, such as stopping shipment to world markets of oil from Alberta. Such Canadian oil would just be replaced by oil from the US or other jurisdictions having easier access to ocean transport and no carbon pricing. By not constructing the pipeline expansion, Canada forgoes significant economic benefits with no offsetting global environmental gains."
The letter goes on to point out the strong record of marine safety on the West Coast.
"We have seen many thousands of freighters and barges, including the many oil tankers making their way to and from the nearby Washington State refineries. Since the Exxon Valdez, there have been no spills from ocean going tankers on the Pacific coast of North America. Indeed, oil has been safely shipped out of Vancouver Harbour for 60 years and diluted bitumen for 30. The oil spill prevention and cleanup measures being put in place for the increased traffic out of Vancouver are global best practices."
And it adds that revenues from Canada's oil and natural gas industry can help fund a transition to low-carbon economy, with B.C. clean technology companies as part of the vanguard:
"All of us know that the resource industries, including oil and gas, are key pillars of our economy and generate some of the provincial and national tax revenues needed to sustain our society as it transitions to a low carbon economy. Indeed, we strongly believe that some of the technologies being developed and tested here in BC, supported in part by those tax dollars, will enable those industries to significantly reduce their carbon intensity."
Read the whole letter here.