"Oil Pipeline Expansion Presents A Whale Of A Problem"

"Kinder Morgan’s plans to expand a pipeline pose major environmental threats -- especially to whale populations still reeling from past oil spills and noise pollution."

"Energy giant Kinder Morgan’s plans to expand its existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline in order to triple the amount of oil shipped out of Canada from 300,000 barrels a day to around 890,000 barrels per day, has been met with strong resistance from environmental protection groups and concerned members of the public who argue that the increase in oil shipments will have a negative impact on marine life — particularly whales that live in the Northern Pacific Ocean.

Of particular concern to environmental protection groups such as Living Oceans, though, is that the energy company has not examined the “potential cumulative effects on sensory disturbance” of the whales. This presents a problem, as these acoustic disturbances will likely interfere with the animals’ ability to communicate, hunt and essentially survive.

“It is ironic that it is whale oil’s replacement, fossil fuel oil, that poses the most direct threat today to the recovery of Pacific whale populations,” a Living Oceans report examining the consequences of the pipeline expansion says, pointing out that whale populations are still struggling to rebound to pre-oil spill numbers in places around the globe where spills have occurred."

Katie Rucke reports for MintPress News July 7, 2014.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014