It is the height of hypocrisy and irresponsibility for the person responsible for all shipping on the west coast of Canada, Pacific Pilotage Authourity CEO, Captain Kevin Obermeyer, to be citing the 1846 “Oregon Treaty” as his decision-making basis. He argues that he is hamstrung to do anything much to stop this dangerous inshore tanker business ” because the Oregon Treaty says that the BC Inside Passage is an Open Water, International Waterway.” So what can he do? He has simply rescinded the special waiver which exempted the Nathan E Stewarts barge from the requirement of having Canadian pilots on board. The idiocy of this solution beggars belief. What about the rest of the busy Texas-based Kirby Corporation fleet? What about the rest of the American ATB fleet run by other companies which ply the inside passage with petroleum tankers? And what about the enormous American ATB traffic that runs between the Kinder Morgan dirty-oil bitumen spigot at Burnaby, and the gargantuan Tesoro refinery at Anacortes with order-of-magnitude larger tug/ tanker units? Will they all require 2 Canadian pilots now? This would amount to a very large number of pilots..
Currently, as I’m sure you are hearing on Big-Oil-controlled CBC, the “clean-up” focus that is going on is now, clearly, all about the squeeky-klean sanitizing the public airways. The great news about Canada’s World Class Oil Spill Response must be told. No bad news, honest or truthful perspective will be tolerated. No big- picture commentary about the enormous and growing tug/tanker barge industry in BC will be permitted. (Frankly, – and not meaning to brag, but there is no other single layman, reporter, ENGO, who knows more about this ugly business than me, –and I am being muzzled, especially by CBC)
There is a veritable holocaust of helicopters flying over our house here at first light this morning, Texas personnel are out there shovelling money in any direction they can, -to the volunteer on the beach “…oh, did you damage your propeller on that reef while laying that absorbent pad?!? We’ll have a brand new one here for you tomorrow…” There are a large number of huge vessels languishing around on-scene, trying desperately to look busy, as though they’re doing something, anything. CBC is busily pumping out the good news story in tiny snippets. “Western Canada Marine Response Corporation crews have deployed a second boom around the wreck” “Divers will attempt to pump out the remaining diesel from the sunken tugs tanks on Monday.”
Meanwhile, there are only somewhere around a dozen forlorn hopeless lonely people actually on the beaches, “deploying” pads, stringing booms etc. – all of which are utterly useless in containing the damage. Many of them are now suffering from breathing fumes. The absorbent padding they are “deploying” is doing nothing. Nobody has been told if, or how much they are getting paid.
Please don’t allow yourselves to be fooled by the tanker-scale good-news corporate-media PR-tsunami that is now in full swing…