Turning the YVR fuel problem into fuel security

The Richmond Review has just published this as “Faulty jet fuel plan needs alternatives.” It’s here as well in order to include hyperlinks. Please also read the related articles on this blog to fill out the picture.


The YVR jet-fuel proposal is faulty. The federal and provincial ministries of environment have shown that in the assessment process.

The federal review says “The project would present a new and unacceptable risk . . . to the fish and wildlife populations of the Fraser River Estuary” and lacks both credible science and credible spill-control technology. The provincial review says the “containment” is not containment.

To get enough fuel, YVR needs an acceptable alternative, a Plan A to replace the proposed Plan F. (F = Faults beyond fixing.)

An urgent problem with Plan F is dependence on foreign fuel. It might begin as bitumen from the Alberta oil sands, but it would be refined outside Canada. In contrast, a fuel supply system within Canada—along with diverse supplemental sources—could be more secure, especially since we have the National Energy Board to regulate oil in our public interest.

Granted, the board has faltered lately, compromising our crude oil supply from the only pipeline from Alberta. That’s Trans Mountain, owned by Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy.  The pipeline ends in Burnaby, where Chevron has the only refinery this side of Prince George. Strangely, the piped supply has become secure for exports instead of the refinery.

The intent is to double the pipeline capacity, dredge the Second Narrows, and ship oil to China on Suezmax tankers loaded near the refinery, which may have to close, starved for feed in the midst of plenty. Meanwhile, the powers behind it get little flak for hindering our fuel security for air, land and sea transport.

Jet fuel reaches YVR from Burnaby via another Kinder Morgan pipeline. It might be abandoned in Plan F, but it should be upgraded.

The challenge now is to preempt ecological disaster, get the National Energy Board valuing our fuel security, and bring together Kinder Morgan, Chevron and the YVR fuel consortium for a long-term pact, a basis for Plan A.

Fortunately, we are Richmond. When we received the International Eco-Safety Demonstrative City award from a UN affiliate, our winning trait was the way citizens and city council get eco-safety results together. When a community group named VAPOR demonstrated against Plan F, political leaders like Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Coun. Harold Steves stopped by in support.

Mayor Brodie and Councillor Steves, our respected directors on the Metro Vancouver board, are the right people in the right place to spark an adequate Plan A.

The obstacles are complex. But success will defuse the dangers to the estuary and fuel security.


To fill out the picture, read the articles in the YVR jet fuel category on this blog. Some of them appear below this article, and others will be added later. Also visit the VAPOR website.


1 Comment »

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