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King County Executive Dow Constantine: Buy B.C. Wines To Protect Local Waters

Elaine Thompson / File
AP Photo
In this 2015 file photo, cars from one of two mile-long oil trains are parked near the King County Airport in Seattle. More crude oil than ever is expected in Washington state, particularly since Canada approved Kinder Morgan's TransMountain pipeline.

King County Executive Dow Constantine is encouraging people who want to protect Puget Sound to buy British Columbia wines.

It’s the latest volley in a minor trade war between B.C. and its neighboring province of Alberta. Earlier this month, Alberta announced a boycott on British Columbia wines, with premiere Rachel Notley directing regulators to block roughly $50 million a year in wine imports.

That was in retaliation for new rules the B.C. government announced to limit shipments of a form of tar sands oil produced by Alberta. The concern is about diluted bitumen, which officials aren’t sure they can adequately clean up if there’s a spill.

The regulations threaten Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which ends in Burnaby, east of Vancouver.

King County Executive Dow Constantine acknowledges that this trade war is kind of silly.

“I don’t think that Alberta is going to affect the determination of British Columbians to protect their environment by threatening not to drink their wine," he said. 

"But, since they were threatening something comical, we thought we’d present a comical response, which is: If they won’t drink the wine, we’ll just drink more."

“Responsible drinking has never been so delicious. Salud!” reads the Facebook post in which he invites residents and businesses in King County to buy B.C. wines.

There's also a hashtag being used on social media to spread the word: #pinotnotpipelines. 

Kinder Morgan's TransMountain Pipeline could bring nearly seven times more tanker traffic through north Puget Sound as those shipments from B.C. head for markets overseas.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment for KNKX with an emphasis on climate justice, human health and food sovereignty. She enjoys reporting about how we will power our future while maintaining healthy cultures and livable cities. Story tips can be sent to