Canada Cruising for Major Oil Spill Crisis in the Arctic, Expert Warns

"One of Canada's top experts on Arctic issues is warning of the 'near-inevitability' of an Exxon Valdez-scale oil spill at a fragile choke point in Alaskan waters if Canada ends up shipping oilsands fuel to China via pipeline terminals on the British Columbia coast."

"Michael Byers, a UBC professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law, argues that Canada's 'disregard for the environmental impacts of developing and selling its oil sands to China' could eventually expose the narrow, already-congested Unimak Pass in the Aleutian Islands — a key maritime gateway between Asia and North America — to an ecological disaster.

Byers' warning — published Friday in the Seattle Times under the headline 'Canada's oil-sands bonanza could mean disaster for Alaska's coastline' — follows comments at a Congressional hearing last week by the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, Adm. Robert Papp, that the strategic importance of the Unimak Pass and nearby Bering Strait have long been overlooked by the U.S. government, and that protection of the two passageways has become an urgent priority for his agency."

Randy Boswell reports for Postmedia News May 18, 2012.

SEE ALSO:

"Oil Spill Risk May Rise In Northwest With Exports Of Coal And Tar Sands Oil To Asia" (Huffington Post/Lynn Peeples)

Oil & Water Feature Series Portal (Burnaby News Leader/Black Press)

"This Is a Drill -- This Is a Drill: US-CAN Salish Sea Full Scale Exercise 2011" (Washington State, Dept. of Ecology)

"Owner of Boat That Burned, Sank Could End Up Facing Large Bill" (Seattle Times)

"New Study Details Oil Tanker Spill Risk In Puget Sound" (OPBearthfix/KUOW)

"Oil spill Threatens White Sea Ecosystem" (Barents Observer/MarineLink)

Source: Postmedia, 05/22/2012