(Michael Hale and Sheila Muxlow of the Pipe Up Network present to the Chilliwack Chamber on Thursday)
The Pipe Up Network have been warning about the dangers of tar sands bitumen for some time now, and yesterday they got an audience with the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce. Spokesman Michael Hale says Kinder Morgan started transporting bitumen through the Trans Mountain pipeline without any public consultation and it poses a much greater risk if there’s a spill. He says the goal is to stop the bitumen from flowing…they’re going to need help, but it’s not going to come from Kinder Morgan.
“Oh they hear what we’re saying. The problem I think is that as a giant corporation with a definite plan, they’re gonna have a hard time changing and shifting from that. Corporations do not move fast. Governments and/or the courts are going to have to step in and decide this matter.”
He also doesn’t see a need to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline. He says the economic benefit would be just as good if not greater by looking into alternative energy projects.
Next week, Kinder Morgan President Ian Anderson will have the floor. Chamber Executive Director Patti Macahonic says her office has recieved a number of calls from people wanting to know their stance on the issue.
“As a Chamber of Commerce, we have to remain non-partisan. I think people in this community are smart enough to make up their own minds. So that’s what we’re about. We provide the information, we provide a venue for people to get together and share ideas and have a healthy debate.”
The City of Chilliwack has so far stayed neutral on this. They do get $625,000 annually in taxation from Kinder Morgan, but Mayor Sharon Gaetz has expressed concerns to Anderson about the environmental impacts.
Next Wednesday, the Pipe Up Network will host an in depth town hall meeting for residents at the Tzeachten Hall at 7pm.