Enbridge is an oil company based in Alberta, that is proposing to build an oil pipeline from the oil sands, (or tar sands) of Alberta to Kitimat, B.C. Enbridge proposes a pipeline of 1,172 km in length, and 36 inches in width. This pipeline is expected to carry 525,000 barrels of oil per day. Crude oil would be transported through a pipeline to the west coast of BC, where it would be picked up by super tankers and exported to the USA and China. These very large crude carriers are the size of three football fields, at 350m long, and 60m wide, and can hold up to 320,000 deadweight tones (DWT). Such large supertankes pose several risks to the area of the Great Bear Rainforest.would travel in the narrow channels of the Great Bear Rainforest. As a result, these tankers pose a risk to marine mammals, such as whales and sea lions because of the high volumes of noise that they will emit, as well as their size, which could hit and kill the whales. The Gitga’at First Nations strongly oppose this proposal, because the tanker route is set to go through their territory, and their marine resources such as salmon, would be put at risk. Other groups, such as whale researchers from Cetacealab, and other environmental organizations such as Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Pacific Wild are doing great work on this issue and support the Gitga’at’s opposition.
For more information on what is at risk, read the What’s At Stake report by Raincoast Conservation Foundation.