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Former Trans Mountain engineer, Romilly Cavanaugh, was arrested Tuesday along with 11 others barricading the gates of Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Mountain tank farm.
Cavanaugh, who holds a Masters degree in sustainability from Harvard, told National Observer: "We're at a climate crisis, and it's not the time to be investing in oil. Now is the time for us to be embracing renewable energy, it's practical, affordable, and right at our fingertips, but we don't have the support of governments."
"This industry should have been phased out decades ago," said Cavanaugh.
For the fourth day, protesters marched to the site of Texas-based Kinder Morgan's pipeline terminal and blocked the entrance. Since March 17, a total of 60 people opposed to Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion have been arrested for violating a court injunction mandating a five metre no-go zone around the terminal.
“We lived and worked in fear when I worked for Trans Mountain, because the reality is that no amount of equipment or people is going to change the fact that in the event of a spill, they will be able to recover very little," said Cavanaugh.
“I worked for Trans Mountain’s environmental department in the 1990s. If there is a tanker spill or spill from the pipeline itself, from Edmonton to Vancouver and down to Washington, the best Trans Mountain will be able to do, even today, is between 10 and 20 per cent recovery. The rest will remain in the environment, damaging fish, birds, crabs – everything you can imagine.”
On Monday, a 70-year old protester climbed and set up camp in a tree at the Kinder Morgan facility. He was arrested by Burnaby RCMP, as was Greenpeace founder Rex Weyler along with four other protesters.
The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would increase capacity threefold, allowing it to carry 890,000 barrels per day from Alberta to British Columbia's coast.
The project has been approved by the federal level, but is currently under judicial review by the Federal Court of Appeal. Six local First Nations as well as the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, and the Province of British Columbia have challenged the project in court, while proponents for the pipeline include the Province of Alberta and Federal government.