I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Trust Us

Enbridge wants approval from the National Energy Board to build its Northern Gateway project through BC, and, as a consequence, permission for its plan to sail  oil tankers  loaded with dilbit through our coastal waters.
This is the firm that was fined 3.7 million dollars for spilling dilbit in Kalamazoo, Michigan.   The US National Transportation Safety Boad said Enbridge employees acted like the Keystone Kops for seventeen ( !!!!) hours after the pipeline ruptured.       They kept pushing dilbit through - and into the Kalamzoo River .

Worse yet, Enbridge ignored corrosion issues for the five years previous to the spill.
In its report, the NTSB said that not only was Enbridge’s response to the spill slow, but the Calgary-based company knew at least five years before the massive leak that the pipeline was corroded and cracked. External corrosion and cracking caused the 471-kilometre pipeline to rupture, the NTSB said. Roughly 15,000 defects were identified in a 2005 report, a presenter at the hearing said. About 900 of those were dug up, he said, with Ms. Hersman noting the one that spilled was not among those tapped for digging.

The company expects to spend $765-million cleaning up – five times more than the next costliest onshore cleanup effort – with its insurance footing most of the bill. 


Trust us to build the Northern Gateway project - if something goes wrong we'll clean it up - just like in Michigan.  We - - me and you - the Canadian public - may be on the hook for their "Keystone Kops" kapers in BC, however.  
Canadian and especially B.C. taxpayers aren’t adequately protected in the event Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline suffers the same kind of catastrophic failure that resulted in a US$765-million — and counting — spill in Michigan two years ago, says a former senior Canadian insurance executive....   Ms. Allan argued in her submission Enbridge is basing its risk assessment in B.C. and Alberta on the company being able to detect and deal with leaks within minutes.  But she pointed out it took 17 hours before the company reacted to the Michigan spill of more than 20,000 barrels of bitumen crude....The purpose of the structure Enbridge has chosen — a limited partnership — is to limit the exposure investors have for liabilities of the company, not to ‘make good’ on [a] catastrophic spill event,” she told the JRP. 


Why would anyone trust Enbridge to build this pipeline?  Why would we trust anyone to build this pipeline?

Someone needs to save Canada’s two largest pipeline operators from themselves...When your newest, presumably state-of-the-art assets are deficient, that’s hardly a public-confidence builder....http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1226064--enbridge-transcanada-pipeline-safety-is-a-pipedream-david-olive 

More importantly, why would anyone trust the politicans that trust Enbridge? Bear that in mind when you vote in the upcoming provincial election - and the next federal election.

And then there's the  climate change implications of our addiction to oil ....see the post immediately below... but even without considering climate change, this pipeline is a TERRIBLE idea.

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