Salmon, economy and oil: Smithers mayor explains opposition to Enbridge pipeline

"People have relied on salmon for 10,000 years. You can’t put a dollar figure on that," said Smithers mayor Taylor Bachrach. 

This article can now be found in  Extract: The Pipeline Wars Vol. 1 Enbridge.  Extract contains a year of the Vancouver Observer's powerful reporting on the proposed Enbridge pipeline.  Get your copy here 

Praise for Extract: The Pipeline Wars Vol. 1 Enbridge

"This is one of the greatest stories underway on the planet—the effort to wrest vast quantities of the dirtiest energy on earth from beneath Canada's boreal forests, and the even greater and far more beautiful effort to stop them. The stakes—the health of the planet's climate—simply couldn't be higher.

Read this book. Extract does a great job of giving voice to some of the people on the front lines and giving you the information you need to engage in the debate."

— Bill McKibben, climate activist and founder

Extract: The Pipeline Wars is a terrifying tour-de-force that opens a grim window on the future: this is not just about British Columbia, but about the world. As the fossil fuel industry taps dirtier and dirtier sources of energy to maintain their supremacy, as more regions of the world are despoiled in the process, the downhill run to ultimate destruction lies plainly before us...unless it can be stopped. Extract: The Pipeline Wars tells us why, and how, this must happen. Excellent, important work.

 — William Pitt, Truthout editor and New York Times bestselling author.

 We need information and hard facts to make thoughtful, forward-thinking decisions that reverberate long into the future. Here’s a book that cuts through the self-interested rhetoric of climate deniers and the fossil fuel industry.

 -- David Suzuki, environmentalist and David Suzuki Foundation founder

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Awesome explanation Taylor!

Awesome explanation Taylor! You hit the point exactly! Thank your for supporting our community, environment and wildlife! :)

I sat next to Taylor on a

I sat next to Taylor on a flight from Vancouver to Smithers two years ago.  He struck me as being a very intelligent and engaging individual.  I'm glad to see that he is able to see through the smoke and mirrors of Enbridge and oppose this pipeline as a terrible idea.  The pipeline will do nothing to create lasting local jobs.  What it will create is a temporary influx of migrant worker jobs (as in boom towns in North Dakota).  As is common with an influx of migrant workers most areas have seen property values decline and things like crime rates and substance abuse increase dramatically.

radical sanity!

wow, another politician who sees the big picture! how unusual!


The mayor should be the Enviornment Minister. A voice of sanity .

Northern Pipline:

Right on Bachrach. For a new mayor to take a clear unequivocal position against the proposed pipline is good to hear and see.Hopefully it will not rebound against him. The dangers are real ,not the least the climactic results that flow from the continued emphasis on using fossil fuels. Its time for a critical civilized stand against.

Jobs creation argument a fallacy

As someone who earns his living in the oil & gas industries and lives in Terrace, BC - I believe I offer a fairly balanced perspective. In short - if the 'Gateway' pipeline is built, there will some day be a leak...there is no question and no argument anyone can make to dissuade me from that conviction. If supertankers start carrying oil up and down the Douglas channel and along the storm-torn BC coast, there will be a marine accident ...see above. For many of you who have never seen it, Dilbit is pich black, tarry goop that gets absolutely everywhere when only a little bit is spilled on the ground. At every facility in fort McMurray, personnel have to wear washable booties over their footwear before they are allowed into office buildings and the control rooms. The 'diluent' they want to pipe through an equally large pipeline going the other direction is only slightly easier to look at, but you wouldn't let your kids play within a hundred meters of an open pail of it. Premium synthetic crude (PSC) oil on the other hand, produced in many of the upgraders can look much like water and the companies that produce the PSC demand a much higher price than for dilbit. Enbridge want to construct a 36" pipeline carrying both products through some of the toughest terrain in the entire country and argue the project will create a whole bunch of sustainable jobs. They are talking nonsense. An average pipeline worksite can employ over a hundred individuals in one location at peak times during construction. Even if one makes the argument that there will be several different work sites going at once, it still only adds up to hundreds of jobs that will all be gone once the pipelines are in place. There will be jobs at the storage and pumping station in Alberta and technicians will be employed whose job it is to repond to any problems at remote booster pumping stations along the way to the ocean, but there won't be that many of them with full time jobs. The storage terminal they will have to build in Kitimat will employ perhaps another thirty or forty people with perhaps some other people making some coin when a supertanker is loading and inching its' way out to the open ocean. I may even have missed someone, but it still only adds up to a few hundred jobs. Unless they are talking about the jobs for the cleanup crews? This project is an insane idea being pushed by the same get-rich-quick mentality that is producing a plethora of SAGD projects all over Alberta and Saskatchewan without the processing facilities already in place to handle the product (dilbit) being produced! It is a much cheaper proposition to just ship the raw, diluted bitumen away to someone else and let them process it than to build an upgrader or god forbid, even a refinery - to produce added value products we all use: gasoline, deisel, jet fuel, etc etc. It costs a LOT of money to build an upgrader - 5 billion or more. A modern, state of the art refinery that would use all the latest technology to minimize the environmental footprint and operate at peak efficiency could cost in excess of a trillion dollars (about a third of the US current deficit) Steven Harper and his cronies all talk about the pipeline being in the 'national interest" and although i understand where his perspective comes from, I wish we had a leader with more foresight. The oil companies and the governments are all making billions (not millions) from the oil and gas business. If someone was to step up in government and mandate that no-one else gets to suck anymore bitumen out of the ground until they have a processing facility already built to handle it, then that person would be talking my language. That person would be someone to vote for. That person would be creating real, sustainable jobs.


Pipelines can be considered as the energy lifelines of human daily activities.Pipeline’s role is not only concentrated to our daily life’s but also,they are used to the nation’s industry standards.The pipeline companies are assigned the task of construction, operation, and maintenance of its pipeline systems in a safe, environmentally sound manner.

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