The Canadian government is pushing ahead with a ban on oil tankers along British Columbia’s northern coast, a long-awaited move interpreted by Bloomberg News as “more political than of any immediate consequence.”
The new rule will apply to tankers over 12,500 tonnes carrying crude oil, bitumen, or bunker fuel, but not liquefied natural gas, gasoline, or jet fuel.
“The area affected stretches from British Columbia’s border with Alaska down to the northern tip of Vancouver Island,” the news agency reports. “Most existing traffic happens south of the island, and projects for gas export plants and refineries on the province’s northern coast would hardly be affected or not at all.”
One reason for the ban, which complements a voluntary exclusion zone in effect since 1985, is to protect the Great Bear Rainforest, iPolitics reports. It’s also a part of the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan that Ottawa announced last fall.