It’s not only the fact that an oil spill would not be cleaned up to a point where it would prevent damage, but who would clean it up and whose responsibility would it be?
When the oil spill does occur, by the time decisions, funds, responsibilities and reaction times are agreed upon, it will be too late (not that anything could have been done to begin with).
Enbridge says it would be responsible for any spills from its planned Northern Gateway oil export marine terminal at Kitimat.
But it also says that if there are spills from a ship, it’s up to the vessel’s owners to conduct a clean-up and deal with damages.
Potentially this means Enbridge wouldn’t have to conduct a clean-up or pay for spill damage from a ship.
It sounds good that if a spill does happen, Northern Gateway will “liaise” with appropriate agencies.
But anyone with a political or legal background knows that the term liaise does not commit the company to do anything except talk or act as a go between.
So really, in the event of an oil spill from a tanker it would be left up to the tanker’s insurance company to pay for spill damages.
In dealing with insurance companies, how many of them are eager to spend money?
Haisla do not want to do a claim for losses in the event of an oil spill. They do not want to experience an oil spill in the first place.
As for the Haisla decision to agree to natural gas tankers and not oil tankers, a large part of that decision was based on respective tanker safety records.