Refinery concerns | Letter

The expansion of storage facilities at the Philips refinery at Cherry Point has a value which apparently has not been noted or discussed. Presently there is some concern about the ecological impact of the additional storage. Stepping back to a broader view would show that the additional storage might be an asset to a project that has a valuable impact on the Salish Sea.

The trans-mountain pipeline, which has now been approved, crosses the mountains from Alberta to Sumas, then on to Vancouver. There is now a pipeline from Sumas to refineries at Cherry Point and Anacortes. Most of the oil from Alberta could be diverted at Sumas and re-routed to the four refineries at Cherry Point and Anacortes.

There would be no substantial increase in tankers departing through Boundary Pass and Haro Strait.

There would be no need for tankers from Valdez through Rosario and Peapod Rocks.

The punishment of the tanker transit to the orcas would be substantially reduced.

The risk of an oil spill anywhere in the Salish Sea would be substantially reduced.

Yes, it would require some very complicated negotiations at all levels including international negotiations. But it would be worth it for the protection of the Salish Sea.

Patrick C. Roe

Lopez Island