Cullen Says Safety Missing From Oil Transportation Debate
Prince George, B.C. – Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says the discussion surrounding the transportation of oil in Canada is missing some critical information in terms of ensuring it can be done safely.
Cullen says “the only way to move oil anywhere safely is if you actually have a good review of whatever project you’re looking at. And right now, both rail and the pipeline, the reviews are totally inadequate to protect Canadians. Whether its pipelines leaking oil into rivers or rail cars exploding, I think it’s obvious to anyone watching that the risks have increased dramatically.”
Cullen says the Harper government has failed to provide the safeguards needed for oil transportation and, in fact, has compromised that safety. “The government the number of inspectors to a point where it’s a very dangerous joke when we look at the way our pipelines and rail transport are approved right now. We even have CN and others lamenting that they have to carry this stuff. And you’ve got flames shooting up into the air and pipelines leaking.”
“So take a first step back. You’ve got to have something that the public actually trusts and believes in, and then ask the right questions to make sure that things are safe. Then you step forward and say, how would you route it? You’d need to have community buy-in, First Nations support, and then you start to build the project that can actually transport oil safely, with the support of people who are taking the most risk.”
Cullen says “both sides (rail and pipe) are constantly arguing that they are safer and better and basically the Conservatives now are at the point where they’re threatening communities with oil by rail, to say that you have to take a maybe less-dangerous oil pipeline. Well that’s a form of Russian roulette. It’s a way of saying unless you take this one dangerous thing we’re going to impose this much more dangerous thing on you, and that’s a stupid way to run things.”
The MP asks “why don’t we just simply have a decision-making process, a way that government approves or rejects these projects, that people can believe in and where our opinions actually matter? And that’s why I have a bill in parliament that will be voted on in a few weeks that’s going to do just that.”