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(08/30/10) -

British Columbians Troubled by Competing Pipeline Projects

People in British Columbia are not currently embracing either of the two proposals to transport crude from Alberta to facilitate its export to China and other Asian destinations, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

Two years after the Carbon Tax came into effect, a majority of respondents claim it has “severely” or “moderately” affected their household’s finances.

People in British Columbia are not currently embracing either of the two proposals to transport crude from Alberta to facilitate its export to China and other Asian destinations, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of 804 British Columbian adults also shows that respondents are disappointed with the implementation of the provincial Carbon Tax two years ago, and few believe it has had an effect on the actual behaviour of residents.

The Pipelines

Enbridge is looking to build two pipelines in British Columbia. The pipelines would carry an average of 525,000 barrels of crude a day and 193,000 barrels of condensate (which is used to thin bitumen) from near Edmonton, Alberta, to Kitimat, in northern British Columbia.

On the other hand, Kinder Morgan has proposed using the existing TransMountain system to ultimately carry an average of 700,000 barrels of crude a day from near Edmonton, Alberta, to BC’s Lower Mainland.

Almost half of respondents in BC (48%) are opposed to both proposals, while support is only slightly higher for the Enbridge plan (35%) than the Kinder Morgan initiative (32%). Opposition surpasses the 50 per cent mark for both plans in Vancouver Island and the North.

Overall, 49 per cent of respondents think the projects are a bad idea that could lead to an environmental disaster, while 33 per cent define them as a good idea that will help the BC economy.

The Carbon Tax

Two years after the Carbon Tax was implemented in the province, more than half of British Columbians (56%) say the levy has "severely" or "moderately" affected the finances of their household. The proportion is higher in the North (80%) and Vancouver Island (64%).

Three-in-four respondents (74%) believe the introduction of the Carbon Tax in British Columbia has not led people to be more mindful of their carbon consumption and change their behaviour.

Analysis

Opposition to the two competing pipeline projects appears to be directly related to environmental concerns. The level of support for the projects is higher in Metro Vancouver and the Interior, but is nowhere near a majority in these two areas or across the entire province. The main worry for British Columbians when thinking about this issue is the possibility of an environmental disaster.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)