By Jen Lash
Monday, July 16, 2012
The week of July 10 2012 was not a good week for Enbridge, the world’s second largest pipeline company. When the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) came out with a scathing report about Enbridge’s pitiful response to the pipeline spill in the Kalamazoo River in July 2010, Enbridge also lost a lot of ground in BC in their effort to build the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline from Edmonton Alberta to Kitimat BC.
Federal Leader of the Official Opposition Thomas Mulcair and Adrian Dix, leader of the provincial NDP, have clearly opposed this pipeline and super tanker project in the past. However in light of the report from the Kalamazoo spill, Mulcair calls the pipeline dead and Dix says this is proof the pipeline should be rejected.
While the NDP cemented their oppostition, Premier Christy Clark put Enbridge on notice with her statement in the Globe and Mail:
“I think the company should be deeply embarrassed about what unfolded, we saw that in the report. If they think they’re going to operate like that in British Columbia – forget it,”
And the Government of Canada, once a vocal supporter of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in the past, began to distance themselves from the project stating that:
The government is favourable towards a pipeline to the West Coast to bring oilsands crude to new markets, but my minister has been careful not to support Northern Gateway," said Patricia Best, spokeswoman for Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver…
This statement contradicts statements made in July 2011 where Minister Oliver declares his support for the Enbridge pipeline.
And the columnists are also weighing in. Vaughn Palmer, Barbara Yaffe, and Gary Mason have all written columns saying the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is, effectively, dead.
And while Enbridge watched their support weaken, the opposition to the pipeline grew stronger. The protests at the public hearings continue with 300 people rallying in Prince George and further south the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish First Nations signed the Save the Fraser Declaration and joined over 100 other First Nations fighting to protect the Fraser River water shed and the salmon from pipeline and tanker oil spills. In Alberta over 50 organizations, including unions, national and regional conservation groups, First Nations, and Surface Rights Groups joined together to call for a pipeline line safety review after 3 recent oil spills contaminated wetlands, rivers, and land.
Last week was not a good week for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline but it was a good week for the people who live along the proposed pipeline route, for the First Nations who have been fighting to protect their territories, and for the land and sea that supports all of us. And it is about time.
Jen Lash has been active in the environmental movement for over 20 years and is currently works on climate and energy issues