BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- As environmental groups applauded the Obama Administration's decision to put the tar sands XL pipeline project on hold, some groups in the Northwest started getting an uneasy feeling.
"Not a lot of people know it but there is a tar sands pipeline to Vancouver," said Matt Krogh, North Sound Baykeeper at RE-Sources for Sustainable Communities in Bellingham.
Krogh said the pipeline has steadily increased its flow over the last three years and with the possible death of the XL pipeline deal, he said plans were announced to triple the line's capacity. He and others are worried that will lead to a dramatic increase in the busy oil tanker traffic already flowing out of Vancouver.
We could find no official requests to increase oil exports, but with Chinese and Canadian leaders working out details this week to export Canadian oil to China, the deal seems to be well in motion.
Long time fishermen like Walter Young worry the increased tanker traffic through the Haro and Rosario Straits will put the sensitive waters near Puget Sound in peril.
"Guaranteed disaster," said Young.