The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nikki Skuce,

Opposition to BC Oil Tankers on the Rise

New poll shows tough odds for Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline


The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline faces tough political odds according to a new Mustel poll.
The poll showed 80 percent of British Columbians support banning crude
oil tankers in BC's coastal waters, up from 72 percent in a similar
2008 poll.

Enbridge claims to be on the brink of filing its
application for the pipeline, which would carry tar sands crude oil to
a supertanker port in Kitimat, BC.

"This poll clearly confirms
British Columbians are not willing to bear the inevitable risks of oil
spills that supertankers would bring," said Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy
Campaigner with ForestEthics. "It is time to see this opposition
translated into a full, legislated crude oil tanker ban for BC's
coastal waters."

The poll's key findings:

  • 80
    percent of British Columbians support a crude oil tanker ban for BC's
    coastal waters, while 15 percent think tanker traffic should be allowed.
  • Significantly more British Columbians oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline (51 percent), than support it (34 percent).
  • British
    Columbians who strongly oppose Enbridge's pipeline (31.7 percent)
    outnumber strong supporters (8.1 percent) nearly four to one.

the devastating impacts of the Gulf oil spill come to light, more and
more British Columbians will be saying they don't want to risk that
kind of disaster on our fragile BC coast," said Skuce. "If Enbridge
pushes ahead despite this clear message from the people of BC, they
will see an escalating campaign against their project and their brand."

If built, Enbridge's pipeline would see an estimated 225 oil
tankers per year traveling the same waters where in 2006 the BC ferry
Queen of the North ran aground and sank.

In March, nine coastal
First Nations declared a ban under their traditional laws on the
transport of tar sands oil through their territories.

Nations have taken the lead in protecting our coast and this poll shows
the majority of British Columbians similarly support such protection.
It is time for our federal and provincial parties to step up and follow
their lead," said Skuce.

In recent months both ForestEthics and
Dogwood Initiative have taken their message door-to-door in key federal
ridings in the Lower Mainland and Greater Victoria areas.

poll results released today are part of a Mustel Group omnibus random
telephone survey of 500 British Columbians in May 2010. Results on a
sample size of 500 random surveys are considered accurate to within +/-
4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Founded in 2000, ForestEthics is a nonprofit environmental organization with staff in Canada, the United States and Chile. Our mission is to protect Endangered Forests and wild places, wildlife, and human wellbeing--one of our focus areas is climate change, which compromises all of our efforts if left unchecked. We catalyze environmental leadership among industry, governments and communities by running hard-hitting and highly effective campaigns that leverage public dialogue and pressure to achieve our goals.