OREANDA-NEWS. February 03, 2012. In a village gym on the British Columbia coast, the newest episode in Canada’s pursuit to become a full blown oil superpower was unfolded. Hundreds of people congregated for hearings on whether a pipeline should be laid from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific in order to transport oil to Asia mainly China. For the village of Kitamaat and its neighbors, the risks are very high because the pipeline would end here and a port would also be constructed to handle at least 220 tankers a year and 525,000 barrels of oil a single day. This oil pipeline is expected to shape North America’s potential energy relationship with China.

It is all about the 2 pipelines, one that is supposed to terminate at Kitamaat Village and another that would have gone from Alberta to the Texas coast but was blocked by the Obama administration citing environmental grounds. With its snowcapped mountains and deep ocean inlets, the fears of oil spills are particularly severe in this immaculate corner of northwest British Columbia. People living here still remember the oil spill of 1989.

A top environmentalist, David Suzuki said that the seas nearby in the Douglas Channel are extremely disloyal waters. He said that an accident is absolutely foreseeable. Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada said that his country’s national interest makes the USD 5.5 billion pipeline vital. The environmental oppositions that pressed Obama to wedge the pipeline to Texas relate uniformly to the Pacific pipeline and the review panel says more than 4,000 people have signed up to testify. After Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, Alberta has the 3rd largest oil reserves in the world. In 2025, daily production of 1.5 million barrels from the oil sands is predicted to expand to approximately 3.7 million.

The whole idea of tapping the oil sands is unpopular among the critics. The energy hungry China is craving for Canadian oil. A report states that more than USD 16 billion has been invested by Chinese state owned companies in Canadian energy sector.