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By Rail or Pipeline?

Some of us were having a  discussion on Facebook about the best way to transport oil from the Alberta oilfields to China.

On Saturday October 19th a CNR train with a cargo of crude oil and tanks of liquefied petroleum gas derailed 80 kms west of Edmonton. The ensuing explosion and fires caused the evacuation of a nearby community and the closure of Highway 16.  The situation at the scene remains volatile and residents are still not allowed back into their homes. There have been a number of rail accidents lately, including the horrific one in Northern Quebec a few months ago, with loss of life and the devastation of a small city .

Now that the safety of transporting hazardous products by rail is being questioned, some of us are reconsidering  any opposition we  may have had about the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project.   Guess we are  thinking that it may be the lesser of the two evils.

Still the main conundrum lodged deep in my mind is that the pipeline would be going through the roughest, mountainous, earthquake-prone part of our province to the town of Kitimat.  From  there the oil would  be shipped by ongoing tanker traffic along Douglas Channel, over and across the Pacific Ocean to a huge developing country where our raw materials regularly get chewed up and shipped back here to be sold cheaply in packages disguised to look as if they were put together by Canadians. (How’s that for a long sentence)

If Prime Minister Harper ever asks my opinion, I will say I am not in favor of shipping oil to China at all!

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