Editor, The Times:
I question the assertions of Dennis Peacock (UNIFOR member) wherein he claims the Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMPL) expansion may force the closure of the Chevron Refinery in Burnaby (“Time to re-think Trans Mountain twinning,” June 18 issue).
If this is true, why did Chevron support the expansion (Burnaby NewsLeader, March 2013)? Why did Business in Vancouver say (March 3-9, 2015) “Chevron appears to be ambivalent about the expansion” and “It’s still unclear whether the Burnaby refinery will have better access to oil following the Trans Mountain expansion.” In short, I do not hear Chevron singing Mr. Peacock’s tune.
Chevron’s refinery had the same opportunity as any other pipeline shipper to sign long term contracts for capacity on TMPL; for whatever reason they did not do so.
I worked at one of the three similar sized refineries on Burrard Inlet that shut down not due to crude supply, but because their small size made them uneconomic in the face of new environmental requirements and cost pressures. If the union fears Chevron might shut down, they might want to examine their own contracts with Chevron to see if they can assist in the long term survival of Chevron, rather than blame TMPL.
To claim that the TMPL expansion has no long term benefits is ridiculous and grossly inaccurate. Mr. Peacock can check the estimates on the TMPL website.
By the way, contrary to his claim, China does have unions. I worked there.
John Hunter, P. Eng.
J. Hunter & Associates Ltd.
North Vancouver, B.C.