Majority of decided voters support Chevron refinery: survey

Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart -
Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart
— image credit:

A survey conducted by Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart found that 64 per cent of respondents with an opinion support keeping the Chevron refinery open while 36 per cent want to see it closed.

“These survey results tell me a solid majority of local residents recognize the positive economic impacts of the Chevron refinery,” said Stewart in a press release. “However, these numbers also show that many continue to have legitimate concerns about the environmental impacts of the refinery’s daily operations.”

Stewart did the telephone survey as research for his upcoming testimony at the National Energy Board hearing into Chevron's application for priority status on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline.

As the only major oil refinery left in B.C., Chevron's application aims to secure a sufficient supply of crude oil through the pipeline to its North Burnaby refinery. In recent months, the company has had to resort to using trains and tanker trucks to feed its operations.

Before asking respondents whether they support keeping the refinery open, the survey stated, "Burnaby’s Chevron refinery provides one-third of Metro Vancouver’s gasoline but is also a major polluter. The refinery is in danger of closing, ending its emissions but also driving up local gas prices."

The automated phone survey contacted 12,498 Burnaby homes located north of Lougheed

Highway, with 1,231 people taking part.

Of those, 44 per cent supported keeping the refinery open, while 25 per cent wanted it closed and 31 per cent were undecided. When only those who stated an opinion are counted, 64 per cent support and 36 per cent oppose the refinery.

“I support Chevron’s application for priority destination designation. There would be clear negative consequences for British Columbia if the Burnaby Chevron refinery were to close, including having to import gas and jet fuel from abroad by sea or rail to meet local demand,” said Stewart.

“However, this is an important opportunity to push Chevron to improve their environmental standards and to persuade them to use the cleanest technology available while operating in our backyards.”

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