Many articles have been published in newspapers against transporting oil by pipelines. This opposition has almost become a mania in our west coast society.
Have opponents considered that there are many worse dangers in our industrial society? Highways kill people, ships sink with a loss of life, planes are known to crash, fires can also destroy life and rail road transport of oil has proved hazardous. All of these potential accidents are heavily shrouded in protective legislation and compensation, but they occur.
We need pipelines to support our economy and they can be regulated but it is doubtful that we will ever make the process foolproof.
Compared with the currently acceptable activities above, the impact of pipelines is relatively insignificant. Oil spills are a part of the nature which has gone on for millions of years in terms of oil seeps. When we come to industrial oil spills, particularly those in the marine environment, two of the biggest occurred as the result of the sinking of the tankers, Torrey Canyon and Amoco Cadiz and locally the smaller and more recent Exxon Valdez. By visiting these sites today, there is no longer any visual impact of the oil spills. The oil evaporates, decomposes or is buried in the sediment as asphalt — the same asphalt as is on the road outside your door.
It is important that we stand back and see that pipelines are necessary for our economy, if properly managed, and that they do not present the catastrophic effects which are often depicted in public articles.
Tim Parsons, Brentwood, Bay