Domestic petroleum industry keeping food on the table

Previous letter propagates myth about nature not recovering from oil spills says reader

In the letter Sept.19 titled Don’t support the pipeline — in three parts by Don Edwards, Mr. Edwards propagates the myth that nature will never recover from an oil spill.

That is just not the case. Modern oil spill cleanup practices are very effective. But nature itself is extremely resilient. There are bacteria in our environment that metabolize oil. They break it down into harmless byproducts. I don’t think the pipeline opposition groups go out of their way to tell people about this.

An oil spill is not what anyone wants, but man and nature together take care of spilled oil, and that fact is evident in all areas of past spills, no matter how large they were.

The second point that Mr. Edwards’ letter made was that the Enbridge pipeline is being proposed to allow a petroleum company to sell a product to Asia and make a lot of money.

What Mr. Edwards did not say is that the amount of employment that the oilsands petroleum production and related pipeline construction creates is a huge boost to our economy (Canadian citizens from all provinces are finding employment in the petroleum industry).

This economic benefit has, in the words of some economists, been the most critical factor in preventing a recession here in Canada over the past four years. And this benefit will continue for generations.

So we are not looking simply at the economic benefit for one petroleum company, but a huge halo benefit for the Canadian economy as a whole.

Imagine Canada or all of North America without any petroleum pipelines. Our highways and rail systems would, out of necessity, be brimming with tanker truck and rail tanker traffic.

Would this situation lessen the environmental risk and the risk to human life? Quite the opposite.

At this time in history we need petroleum pipelines, and Canada needs the jobs and revenue that pipelines help safely produce. I would like to see a percentage of all government and industry profits from petroleum sales go to alternative energy research. The domestic petroleum industry is helping to keep food on Canadian’s tables. Let’s not ever forget that fact.

Bill Wilson

Saanichton