Greenpeace activists stage protest at Burnaby pipeline facility
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2013 8:36AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 16, 2013 7:33PM PDT
Greenpeace activists have stormed a Kinder Morgan oil pumping facility in Burnaby to protest the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline and Alberta’s oil sands.
A Greenpeace Canada spokesman told CTV News Wednesday morning there are 16 activists in total at the terminus facility of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
“Our message is clear,” the organization said in a tweet. “It is time to say no to tar sands expansion and yes to a green energy future #StopTarSands.”
Rappelling down enormous storage tanks, activists unfurled a banner reading “Harper: No Tar Sands Pipelines” on one while others painted the words “Stop the Tar Sands” on another.
"We have shut down the facility today," said Greenpeace spokesman Mike Hudema shortly after more demonstrators took over the site on the shores of Burrard Inlet. "With every extra tanker or kilometre of pipeline, we increase the risk of an accident that would be catastrophic to the coast and our communities.”
He said the activists intended to stay until they had sent a strong message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
RCMP officers were on scene in the late morning, but the activists remain at the facility.
Kinder Morgan has frequently been the subject of protests since it announced a $4.3-billion plan to twin the 1,100-kilometre pipeline.
Currently the line moves about 300,000 barrels of Alberta bitumen and other petroleum products daily, but the company has applied to nearly triple its capacity to 890,000 barrels daily.
The expansion could increase tanker traffic by more than 1,000 trips annually off the Pacific coast, according to the B.C. government.
Kinder Morgan spokeswoman Lexa Hobenshield said in a statement the company understands that projects of this size and scope tend to attract a variety of views.
"We have been and continue to be open to engaging with individuals and groups to hear their concerns and to share factual information on the project," she said.
Kinder Morgan has insisted all along it holds environmental safety in high regard. Its Burnaby terminal receives crude oil refined products for temporary storage and distribution.
WIth files from The Canadian Press