Editorial: Is an oil refinery really a good idea?

That's a big pair of dice Skeena BC Liberal candidate Ellis Ross is rolling in his support of an oil refinery in the riding.

That’s a big pair of dice Skeena BC Liberal candidate Ellis Ross is rolling in his support of an oil refinery in the riding.

As the Haisla chief councillor, Mr. Ross lead the opposition to the now-shelved Enbridge plan to build a crude-oil pipeline to Kitimat for export via a marine terminal.

It was decided to be too environmentally risky.

But the prospect of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry was more environmentally palatable and Mr. Ross successfully laid the groundwork for substantial Haisla benefits.

But with LNG now on the backburner, Mr. Ross says an oil refinery can offer jobs twinned with responsible development, particularly if it touts green credentials like the two being proposed near Kitimat.

Still, there are problems.

Both proposals would have crude transported by rail, something regarded to be just as risky as a pipeline.

One of the two, Pacific Future Energy, would just refine crude. It would be up to someone else to actually export the product. The other, Kitimat Clean, so far lacks Haisla support, something sought while Mr. Ross was chief councillor.

It all provides much for the NDP to exploit leading up to the May 9 provincial election.

(For the record, Kitimat Clean is owned by David Black, also the owner of Black Press which owns The Terrace Standard.)

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