Opposition is growing to Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline that will send supertankers loaded with raw bitumen through the treacherous waterways of the spirit bear’s last intact habitat.
Recent surveys have shown the BC public is split on the pipeline project, but through careful analysis of polling data, a Vancouver Sun opinion editorial illustrates that BC is fifty-fifty on support for the pipeline itself, but is overwhelmingly against the idea of oil tankers traversing spirit bear waters.
The difference in support for the pipeline and the oil tanker route should be noted by Enbridge – and the BC government (who have yet to take a position on the issue). And it adds credence to the Youth Coalition’s balanced position on this issue to alter the route.
While the Northern Gateway proposal will always have its detractors, the Vancouver Sun article points out opposition will only continue to grow as the public begins to understand the correlation between the pipeline and the tanker route. Most importantly, opposition to the tanker route is vibrant across party and ideological lines.
If Enbridge were to shift the route to an established, safer port – and thus utilize a shipping lane free of environmental dangers – it’s possible the BC public would embrace the project, according to this polling analysis. In fact, at the moment, the BC government remains in a no-win position on the issue, but might be able to take advantage of this olive branch from the public should it lead the charge for a route change.
Without question, the current plans for Northern Gateway are wrong on about every level – and the public is agreeing in larger numbers by the day. But if Enbridge adopts the Youth Coalition’s concept of an altered route, it might be possible for this project to be rescued from the jaws of negative public opinion.