Energy Infrastructure Issues Examined by FCM
Prince George, B.C. – The issue of pipelines moving through urban areas has become a controversial one over the past couple of years and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is taking a closer look at the concerns.“In the past year, there were a lot of discussions around energy and a number of municipalities took pretty strong stands, so the FCM has put together an Energy Infrastructure task force ” says Prince George City Councillor and FCM Board Member Garth Frizzell.
He says the task force will examine what kind of leverage municipalities have, their interests and concerns “We are going to look across Canada and see what the best practices are and pull those together and report back to municipalities next summer.”
“We are just in the early stages right now of gathering what other people have done and what the policy concerns are across Canada.”
Here in BC, there has been a significant outcry over the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension in the lower mainland. Just this past week, the Regional District of Fraser Fort George received a letter from the City of Victoria which requested the RDFFG support opposition to the extension over concerns of oil tanker spills.
Valemount Mayor Jeannette Townsend is one of those who has concerns “Being realistic , the product is going to be transported anyway, I certainly don’t want it coming through our town on Yellowhead 5 nor through Mount Robson Park where the trucks and trains run right along the Fraser River.” She says the Village of Valemount will be sending its own letter to the Federal Government expressing concerns. “I just feel that they (City of Victoria) expect everyone else to have hazardous materials transported right through their community but they don’t want anything around their City and I have a real issue with this.”
But Frizzell says not all jurisdictions have the same view “In Alberta, different municipalities have different views. We can’t say the gut tells you we are only going to go in one direction. We’re really looking at a wide range of different views.”
The Energy Infrastructure Task Force’s final report will be ready by next June. “We’ve already had a couple of meetings and going into Oakville for the regular Board meeting in September, so I imagine we’ll get some work done there too.”
Yeah, like a 2 km long freight train loaded with Crude oil, LPG and chemicals rumbling through town at 80 kmh is safer. Pipelines are not 100% safe but nothing is 100%. At least all it takes to mitigate a pipeline incident is to close some valves to isolate the section of pipeline, not so simple when rail cars are stacked like firewood and are on fire.
Peter North states; “At least all it takes to mitigate a pipeline incident is to close some valves to isolate the section of pipeline…”
That’s it? No mention about the oil spilled itself, the damage it will do, or the cost of cleanup?
JGalt, obviously there will be a clean up for any spill. However the impact of spills by pipeline can be lessened by remotely closing valves almost immediately in the confines of a control room or kilometers away at a pumping station. When railcars are piled up it can take days for responders to get close enough to mitigate the situation.
I disagree.. An oil spill by pipeline is hundreds of barrels minimum, but by rail is a few leaky cars at most. All oil should be shipped by rail IMO.
All oil should be shipped by rail? Maybe you heard of the derailment in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec? Or how about the derailment in Missisauga where 250,000 residents were evacuated? Maybe the derailment in Graniteville South Carolina where chlorine cars ruptured? Me thinks JGalt and Eagleone work for the railroad.
PN: “Maybe the derailment in Graniteville South Carolina where chlorine cars ruptured?”
Is there an alternative to shipping chlorine in rail tanker cars?
A rail car can hold 700 barrels of crude
If you could light up a pipeline spill like a rail spill it would take care of a lot of the “environmental” damage
Lac Megantic derailment spilled over 6 million litres of crude into the environment or about 38,000 barrels in the two day inferno from 63 rail cars
I am wondering how many human deaths are caused by pipe vs rail
Show me a pipeline that has isolation shut-off valves every two kilometers.
Who said every two kilometers?
PN: “Yeah, like a 2 km long freight train”
It was you who said it! I am comparing the volume of oil in a 2 km long tanker car train with that of a 2km long section of crude oil pipeline!
That is a fair comparison, although not all tank cars would rupture and spill the stuff, whereas the section of pipeline (even if it could eventually be isolated, a pipe dream to think so) would spill all or most of it!
Prince George, chlorine is shipped by highway in tonners as well, as is Carbon Dioxide. My point was shipping by rail has serious consequences when an incident occurs in a populated area, most pipeline incidents seem to occur in less populated regions, sure their is an environmental impact but the effect on human life is less. Hazardous materials are going to be around for a long time and must to be shipped by the safest means possible which IMO is not road or rail but pipelines.
If it was just that easy.. Just close a valve.. We have had a few spills just recently that show its not just that easy. The one bad thing with isolation valves is they are rarely used and are know to seize, fail etc. the bad things with rail is all the tracks run along rivers…any spill will hit the watershed.
To reduce the chance of any type of spill refine the crude first..the ship it.
I agree with above post. Frizzle should just fizzle out… He’s for big corporations and will do whatever it takes to get the pipeline going..with no concern for our beautiful province. Alberta is a different story.. They were dependent on oil.. BC is differsified… Frizzle is probably in Clark’s pocket
BC may have the strongest economy of the provinces at the moment . That doesn’t mean that we are doing well. There is an article on CBC this morning about the use of food banks in Fort St John doubling in the past year.
That does not tell me anything much.
What would be meaningful would be how many people per 1,000 population use food banks in FSJ compared to other communities across BC and Canada.
Perhaps someone can get us that information.
The only fair measure in such cases is a rate.
The article would lead me to believe that EI claims are running out and people are getting hungry. In the last year I have been fortunate enough to work in Fort McMurray and Ft Saint John. Not steady but enough to keep the bills paid. It is definitely getting more difficult to find work.
Maybe someone more internet savvy could look up the stats for the effect of oil prices on local employment. All I know is most of the industrial trades people I have worked with don’t have a choice where they work anymore. It’s take what you can get where ever you can get it and hope you make enough to qualify for EI.
We should insist that no oil travels along the Nechako or Fraser Rivers. If there is to be oil transported through BC then we should have it go through the Bear Lake to Burns Lake route to avoid PG and most of our watershed headwaters in BC.
Ideally Bear Lake north would be designated for petroleum industry activities with all oil processed and refined there before further shipping west…and the rail line from Bear Lake to Fort St James. would be extended to the Fraser or Burns lake regions west. Then we only have to worry about one crossing over the Stuart River for our major south flowing river systems. Oil would flow through the Pine Pass rather than the Rogers Pass.
Typical NIMBY attitude Eagleone, what makes you think Fort St. James wants a pipeline?
And its not just the community of Fort St. James that doesn’t want the pipeline, the local First Nations won’t have it either!
Problem is I am not talking about shipping crude by pipeline through Fort St James as you imply.
I am talking about building redundancy for the rail lines and avoiding the rivers, by shipping rail for refined products.
Refine North of the hydrological divide. That is Summit Lake North because all that water flows North to the oil sands anyways. Bear Lake is ideal because it has the existing BC Hydro infrastructure needed for a refinery and has the rail links out west.
Pipe it on the Alberta side of the hydrological divide and refine it in BC before shipping by rail the refined product, while still avoiding the Nechako watershed reducing impact to a single rail crossing.
No crude oil pipelines west of PG and no crude oil west of PG is the minimum I could support.
The attention is now being given to Energy EAST. That is, a pipeline from Alberta to the Irving refineries in St John New Brunswick. No doubt after the US election the Keystone will be allowed to go through and Alberta oil will go to the refineries in Texas in addition to New Brunswick.
My guess is that an oil line to the West Coast of BC Ie; Kitimat, or Prince Rupert, is a dead issue. LNG is also a dead issue.
Trains going through major terminals like Prince George are restricted to 10 Miles per hour through yard limits.
The idea that we would or could have a catastrophic incident in the greater Prince George area from a train delrailment is a bit of a long shot.
With the disappearance of industry in this area, along with the pipeline etc;, people had better start to tighten their belts, because there is nothing on the drawing board that will help this area grow, and in fact we are in for a major down sizing if something doesn’t happen pretty quick.
Pal states; “…people had better start to tighten their belts, because there is nothing on the drawing board that will help this area grow…”
But, but, but, there is going to be a beef processing plant, and will have super size cargo planes landing at the airport to fly beef through the air to markets all over the world… and then there is the Tire Recycling Plant scheduled to operate… ummm… sometime in the near or distant future?
Then there is the Lime Plant in Giscome, now only half the size it was originally planned to be. “Project manager David Chamberlain of Richmond-based Graymont Western Canada said this week the change is part of a plan to scale back the initial construction to one kiln from two in answer to a sagging market for the product.”
Can’t wait for Christy Clark to come up here in the next few months to parrot the same words she had for us during the last election campaign 4 years ago; telling us we are on the verge of an economic boom!
So Christy controls world markets, not defending her but hey get a grip. You want I am against everything Hogan.
Typical partisan post JGuilt. Easy to call things down, but how about offering some alternatives and how those would work out for the region?
You are all bark and no reason or solutions.
When rail cars come off the (old fashioned last century vintage) tracks the incident is noticed and attended to right away!
Pipeline crude oil leaks often go unnoticed for days or even weeks and the leakage can amount to tens of thousands of barrels. After all pipelines are usually buried in the ground! Not too long ago there was an incident and the leak was only found out when the ground above the leak showed the black stuff oozing to the surface and running into a nearby lake!
I agree with Valemount Mayor Jeannette Townsend to a point, but does she not realize that there is a pipeline built past her front door that travels through Jasper, Mount Robson Park and down hwy 5? How did she miss the construction?
The people of lotus land want the benefits of oil, gas, electricity but force the infrastructure off on the hicks in the hinterlands.
There is an oil pipeline in downtown PG, who can guess what it is?
Hint paid with taxpayers money.
Oops sorry I was wrong on the location of the pipeline, disregard.
To clarify I was mistaken on the PG pipeline not Jasper.
Husky? Just guessing, of course.
Train derails in midtown Toronto today, very timely.
The Pembina Pipeline runs from Taylor BC to Husky Oil Refinery, Prince George and then on to Kamloops BC.
This line has been around for many years.
These four Countries have the most KM’s of oil pipelines.
Other Countries have significantly less miles of oil pipeline. In any event the movement of oil by pipeline keeps the wheels turning, world wide.
World Wide there are roughly 564,499 km (350,620 miles) of oil pipelines. So I think that we can ascertain that the decision on how to move oil, has been made a long time ago.
Circumference of the Earth. 40,090 km (24,901 miles) So the present oil pipelines could circle the earth 14 times.
Have a nice day.
So everyday most of us drive over a pipeline in Prince George. When was the last oil pipeline spill in the Husky oil refinery pipe? Never! There was a bit of a scare a few years back when the train caught fire by Fort George Park but there has never been a spill. This pipe line runs down the side of the Fraser River to the Husky refinery. All you NIMBY pipe line people should know a bit more about your own yard before you throw stones into others
Actually the pipeline that supplies the Husky refinery.
Had a spill in the late 90’s on the north side of the Pine Pass.
It leaked into the Pine River.
Pipelines are still safer considering the volume of product moved.
FYI Canada imported 52.5 million barrel’s of oil from the USA.
In the last year.
Go figure the lost tax dollars and revenue on that.
“Alberta has had an average of two crude oil spills a day, every day for the past 37 years.”
“That makes 28,666 crude oil spills in total, plus another 31,453 spills of just about any other substance you can think of putting in a pipeline – from salt water to liquid petroleum.”
For an interactive video map of oil spills in Alberta each year since 1975 to 2012, compy and paste the following link and delete the space in the http.
Your point is? You left out effects and Volume.
In light of the fact that; “One gallon of used motor oil can contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water – a year’s supply of water for 50 people.”
Your comment about needing to know the effects and volume of the oil spills is mute!
Contaminate for how long? Did you know microbes eat oil. What is your solution? Are you going to stop using oil and all its related products? Oh wait then how will you post? You do realize there are remarkable amounts of oil spilled every year into the environment from natural seeps.
The world is not ending from oil but has given mankind a remarkable quality of life.
Oilsands oil around Fort Mac. has been seeping into the area waterways for far longer than mankind has been in that area! Now, oilsands producers are extracting the oil and eventually if and when they remove enough of it, it won’t be seeping into those waterways anymore!
So, looking at it from that point of view, oilsands producers are helping to clean up the environment! ;-)
Methinks JGalt means **moot** not **mute**
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