Oil refinery irony

Post by Mike Klassen in

13 comments


A David Suzuki rep rides a gas-powered motorboat to protest oil in Burrard Inlet

Because of the horror in the Gulf of Mexico, any story slicked with oil is golden at the moment. The apparent leak happening at the Chevron refinery in the east Burrard Inlet has been hard to get a handle on this week. Is it just a one-time mess, or is it "seeping"? Is the amount as low as 50 litres, or approximately 1/3 of a barrel of oil, or is it really more? No one knows, but even with media seemingly crawling all over the nearby beach there are no visible traces of oil in the Inlet.

I loved the irony in CTV's story about the refinery leak, where a representative of the David Suzuki Foundation went screaming up the Inlet with a TV crew in a gas-powered motor craft. Yes, we've got to stop this damned oil!! But of course, please don't notice that I'm using it to get around.

If the Suzuki gang were using canoes to make their point, perhaps they'd have a bit more credibility. Speculating that sand has been powerwashed makes them look desperate.

As Vancouver technologist and Twitter fiend Tim Bray said yesterday:

Unlike apparently everyone, I'm not pissed at BP. You gonna live on fossil fuel, shit gonna happen. BP drew the short straw.

Tim's pithy tweet sums up the problem – it's our reliance upon fossil fuels that cause these petroleum mishaps. We're all looking for someone to blame at the same time we're driving to the grocery store, or dropping our kids off at school.

As for Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, he's a clever one isn't he? Derek, you're not one of the shrewdest politicians in Metro Vancouver for nothing.

You comment that maybe we shouldn't be putting oil refineries near residential neighbourhoods. Pardon? How about not building subdivisions near industrial zoned land? Those refineries have been there well before your city decided to permit housing developments too close for comfort.

Of course Mayors love housing rather than land that creates long-term jobs. Industrial land provides a fraction of the tax revenue that residential land does. Derek would love to have all those dirty refineries move somewhere else so Burnaby could build lots of monster homes with waterfront views.

Of course, in order to get to them you'll need to refine that black stuff to power your cars. And where will we do that? Oh, nevermind.

- rant by Mike

13 Comments

Decent rant.

Industrial land provides a fraction of the tax revenue that residential land does.

I thought industrial was taxed at far higher rates than residential, which is why pulp mills and such are refusing to pay their astronomical property taxes in various small towns in BC.

BP didn't draw the short straw. Their procedures on the Macondo well practically guaranteed an accident, and a disastrous one at that. If you're going to take short cuts and ignore danger signs, bad things are going to happen to you. That's not unlucky, that's criminally negligent.

Are you saying that environmentalists that use fossil fuels are hypocrites? I have never seen the term hypocrite used to describe an anti-environmentalist that walks or ride bicycles. Does the author expect the members of the Suzuki Foundation to swim up to the oil leak? Give your head shake before trying to be witty.

The Chevron refinery site is unsuitable because the surrounding area has changes. It's time for the refinery to be shut down and move to reflect that change, That should not be difficult for most people to understand.

Ahh good old Dr. Fruit Fly & his merry band of eco-grifting scam artists.

"We love the planet so send us money"

How many houses doe Suziki own? How does he travel between them?

Maybe he just walks on water.

When the Eco-Scammers who scream at us about global warming et al start acting like their is a problem, then maybe I'll start to listen to them.

Too often, people are unprepared to recognize the full situation and prefer a distorted and unbalanced optic. We are all a contributor of our reliance on petroleum/petrochemical products. Therefore, we all (general public and energy companies) hold the solution and can change the outcome. The question is, "do we have... See More the intestinal fortitude to do it?"

As for the residential and industrial utilization of land... an on going challenge for generations. The expansion of the city (housing demand) will infringe on previously zoned industrial real estate, even with the most well planned municipalities. It is a conundrum; we want to work close to where we work, but not all "work"/ industries are compatible to mixed land use.

@SVG. Good comment. Re: industrial land, it's a challenge Vancouver knows well. We've taken large pieces of our former commercial/industrial lands at False Creek & Coal Harbour and put housing on them. Now Marine & Cambie is looking to put thousands of new residences. There are upsides of course, but as we squeeze out the "dirty" and noisy work of small manufacturers or repair/rebuild operations, the jobs that pay your city taxes go with them – usually out to the suburbs. It's a huge challenge, especially for Vancouver, and we shouldn't rush into a decision.

You say Corrigan is "clever". I would say he is predictable and repetitive and has become boring.

Boring rant.

If I thing global warming exists but drive a car my opinion is therefore invalid? Give me a break. Stop being such a hack and deal with the issue, not the delivery of said issue.

While our need for oil drives exploration in more and more technologically challenging environments, it's not demand that produced the worst environmental disaster in American history - that would be the negligence, fraud, incompetence, and greed of a reckless BP that:

* bypassed even minimal safety precautions
* used the cheapest casing and sealants known to have exploded on other rigs
* ignored clear safety concerns of their own crews and engineers
* ignored the fact their own well was out of control, insisting underlings cover up the explosive gas coming up the pipe
* refused to undertake adequate testing of the blowout valve despite known problems
* had no backup plan or equipment in place despite mounting dangers on the rig.

We have every right to insist that risky exploration and drilling be done to the highest environmental and safety standards, and that companies put their worker's safety and the environment before gouging another penny of profit out of the most lucrative business in the world.

Whether a sin of commission or omission, If terrorists had done what BP has done, killing eleven workers on that rig and fouling the entire Gulf Coast and much of the Gulf of Mexico, the full might of the international community would have been mobilized to attack the entity responsible and all of their assets would have been seized.

Where crimes have been committed, those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

"Unlike apparently everyone, I'm not pissed at BP. You gonna live on fossil fuel, shit gonna happen. BP drew the short straw."

Winner of the Most Ridiculously Stupid Comment of 2010 award. Enough said.

'"Unlike apparently everyone, I'm not pissed at BP. You gonna live on fossil fuel, shit gonna happen. BP drew the short straw."

Winner of the Most Ridiculously Stupid Comment of 2010 award.'

Up to now.There's another seven months left in 2010,and two more months of BP turning the Atlantic Ocean into dinosaur soup.

Well said, Gerry.

Meanwhile, today is day 42 of the worst ecological disaster in American history.

Some interesting comments from James Carville:

"BP is not the equal of the United States government. This President needs to tell BP: "I'm yer Daddy. I'm in charge. You're going to do what WE say. You're a multi-national company that is greedy and you may be guilty of criminal activity. It's time that we understand: BP does to wish this thing well. They have been negligent. They need to whip out their check book, and start moving with some ACTION."

Meanwhile, BP stock down 15% today.

You guys looking at the Gulf of Mexico?
How about taking a look in your own back yard? How about them Alberta Tar Sands ? That's gonna dwarf the Gulf problem. Serioulsy, do some reseach. Learn about the Canadian governemnt cover up. Go here for starters
http://www.environmentaldefence.ca/reports/pdf/TarSands_TheReport.pdf

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