Greenpeace ties up Burnaby oil tanker terminal 0
More than a dozen Greenpeace activists chained themselves up to a fence and equipment at a Burnaby oil facility to protest pipeline expansion in B.C. Wednesday. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Greenpeace members chained themselves to parts of a Kinder Morgan facility in Burnaby Wednesday to oppose the expansion of oil pipelines in B.C.
With two people at the front gate, more than a dozen Greenpeace activists made it inside the facility on Burrard Inlet.
“We’re here to send a message to Prime Minister Harper and Premier Clark that the coast is not for sale,” said Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada. “Stephen Harper is laying out his agenda in Ottawa in the throne speech, which is basically about expanding the tar sands.”
Mounties spoke to the protesters, who remained on the property and spray painted anti-pipeline slogans on oil tanks and unfurled banners.
Westridge terminal is the terminus station of the Trans Mountain pipeline, running from Alberta to B.C. Kinder Morgan has applied to twin the pipeline, which would nearly triple the capacity of oil flowing from Alberta and loaded onto tankers for export.
Kinder Morgan issued a statement Wednesday saying it was concerned about the safety of the protesters, as well as residents in the area.
“We understand that projects of this size and scope tend to bring a variety of views with it,” the statement said. “We have been and continue to be open to engaging with individuals and groups to hear their concerns and to share factual information on the project.”
The company said it would be “doing everything it could” to bring the facility back to normal operations.
Oil opponents have also targeted Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. In a November 2012 letter — released after a freedom of information request — company vice-president Janet Holder pleaded with Premier Christy Clark about the project.
“We exported $50 billion worth of it and almost all of that went to just one customer: the United States. It is not strategic or prudent to take our most valuable export commodity, and rely on only one market,” wrote Holder. “Every day that passes that we are not able to access tidewater and the world energy market is a lost opportunity.”
But Greenpeace said it isn’t concerned about such lost opportunities, as it wants to see the money spent on green energy initiatives instead of promoting and expanding oil development.
The activists said they are prepared to risk arrest, but did not set out to be when they decided to chain themselves to the facility.
Late Wednesday evening the protest ended and Greenpeace members left the facility.