By Lydia Gilbertson | Google+
Kinder Morgan has been criticized heavily this week because of their controversial statement concerning the benefits of oil spills.
The context of the comment is a 15,000-page proposal for an attempted expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline that runs through British Columbia. The application walks through each potential disaster that the pipeline could create and how it would be remedied. It examines the socio-economic, environmental, and psychological impacts that major spills could have. They attempted to show that the possibility for a large spill is quite low.
However, at one point in this assessment, Kinder Morgan stated “Pipeline spills can have both positive and negative effects on local and regional economies, both in the short- and long-term. Spill response and cleanup creates business and employment opportunities for affected communities, regions, and cleanup service providers.” This outrageous claim, that oil spills are beneficial in any way even if it creates temporary jobs, was not received well by the environmentalist community or the media as a whole.
Rachel Maddow, a prominent opinion correspondent on MSNBC, stated “Turn that frown upside down oil-soaked neighborhood. You can get a job cleaning it up. If you just have the right attitude. If you let us triple the size of our pipeline, we might spill more oil, and then you could hire yourselves to clean it up. Wouldn’t that be great?” Many politicians also accused the company of insensitivity, and making an attempt at tricking the government and people of Canada into thinking an oil spill would be a positive.
According to the Vancouver Sun, Michael Davies of Kinder Morgan Canada said in an email “No spill is acceptable to us, while we are required by the National Energy Board to explore both the positive and negative socio-economic effects of a spill, it in no way means we accept the inevitability of a spill, nor justify one.”
The proposed pipeline expansion would increase its capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels of Alberta tar sands oil every day.