Did you ever hear the story about a guy explaining the bright side of oil spills? You did not hear that story, because anyone who does that is a terrible person, and hopefully the human race collectively knows better, right? Wrong.
A Houston-based oil pipeline company recently made that very flawed argument in a written submission to Canada's National Energy Board. Kinder Morgan wants to triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries oil from Alberta to British Columbia, because of backlogged demand. The pipeline has a 300,000-barrel-a-day limit, and yet the company's demand exceeds that by about 70%, according to the National Post. Opponents of the expansion think increasing the amount of oil travelling through the pipeline will increase the likelihood of a spill.
Maybe that's why, buried deep in Kinder Morgan's 15,000 page submission to the NEB, the oil company argued oil spills "can have both positive and negative effects on local and regional economies," because of the economic benefits brought on by clean-up efforts. “Spill response and clean-up creates business and employment opportunities for affected communities, regions, and clean-up service providers,” the report reads. Kinder Morgan does not forget to analyze the negative effects an oil spill has on local communities, like crippling fishing resources, threatening human health, and damaging property, which all carry an economic impact of their own.