Is this the reality that the Lower Mainland faces if Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion TransMountain pipeline project is approved?
Local environmentalist group Dogwood Initiative worked with local game developers Adrian Crook and Associates and Factory 1 Studios to create the scene that provides a dark but realistic view of the damage that could be caused by an oil spill in English Bay. Binoculars were temporarily installed today at English Bay, with unsuspecting viewers peering through an animated 3D catastrophic depiction of the city in the event of a major oil spill.
The rendering features a beached orca whale, oil slicks, bitumen-soaked sand, and black smoke billowing into the sky from flaming pools of oil. Emergency crews are deployed and containment rings are set in the water to prevent the spill from spreading. In summary, chaos unfolds when 500 metric tonnes of crude leaks from a tanker parked just off the shore of the downtown Vancouver peninsula.
The initiative targets the proposal by Texas-based Kinder Morgan to expand the TransMountain pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to a shipping facility in Burrard Inlet near Burnaby Mountain. This will triple the bitumen flow from the existing 300,000 with the old pipeline to nearly 900,000 barrels every year once the expansion is complete. In the process, the number of oil tankers that pass through Vancouver will increase from 60 to 408 per year
Most of the region’s municipal politicians have been vocal against the pipeline expansion, particularly Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan and Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. Corrigan has also taken action to prevent Kinder Morgan from completing pipeline survey work on Burnaby Mountain.
The campaign comes just days before civic elections held across the province. It is meant to arouse an emotional response as voters head to polling stations, although the issue lies within federal jurisdiction – not municipal.
“We wanted to show people what’s at stake, but also remind citizens that this is only one possible future,” said Kai Nagata, Dogwood’s Energy & Democracy director. “The fate of these pipeline and oil tanker proposals is really up to us, the voters.”
Feature Image: Dogwood Initiative