Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

OIL: Pipeline less risky than tanker shipping

Letter by James McLennan, Tacoma on April 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm | No Comments »
April 23, 2013 1:50 pm

Re: “Nothing good will come from Keystone pipeline” (Off the wire, 4-22).

The authors miss the big picture. If the Keystone XL pipeline is not built, Canada will continue to produce tar sand oil, because it is in its economic interest to do so. The tar sand oil will still be produced, refined and burned. So, building or not building the pipeline will have no effect on greenhouse gasses.

If the pipeline isn’t built, the Canadians will have to find another path to the market. That path is to increase the size of the pipelines to their West Coast ports (Vancouver and Prince Rupert) where the oil will be loaded onto tankers and shipped to overseas refineries.

The real question is: What is the least risky mode of transporting the tar sand oil to market? Is it building a new, modern, monitored pipeline, or is it shipping this oil through the most pristine, productive and dangerous waters of the North American Pacific Coast, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the Canadian Gulf Islands and the American San Juan Islands?

To my mind, overland transportation is less risky that oil tankers running through the San Juan Islands and the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.