News Articles Featured | Environmental Defence | ForestEthics Advocacy | Greenpeace Canada | Sierra Club Prairie | July 24, 2012
Enbridge’s toxic tar sands goo still in water as company wants to build more pipelines.
For Immediate Release
Toronto - Landowners, environmentalists and community organizers across the United States and Canada today reminded citizens about the dangerous spills caused by Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. on the second anniversary of the largest inland oil spill, and costliest, in US history - caused by Enbridge. The company’s negligence has come under increased scrutiny following a damning report from the US government.
Public events against future pipelines carrying hard to clean up tar sands oil took place in 29 cities, including Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton and in smaller communities including Bella Bella and Smithers.
“An Enbridge spill could happen in Canada at any time, which is a tremendous concern given that the toxic goo in tar sands sinks and is proving impossible to remove from water,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. The group, along with ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Sierra Club Prairie and 350, held events across Canada.
Enbridge’s pipeline ruptured on July 25, 2010 spilling tar sands oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River and causing numerous health issues in nearby residents. Much of the spill has not been cleaned up as bitumen in tar sands oil sinks in water, unlike normal oil, which floats. Meanwhile, $725 million has been spent so far in the cleanup.
"The Enbridge tar sands spill two years ago was a catastrophe,” said Susan Connolly, who lives near the Kalamazoo River in Marshall, Michigan. “As the mother of two small kids, the hardest part is not knowing the long-term health effects of tar sands crude. What I do know is that Enbridge is working hard to expand its pipelines into other communities across Canada and the US. My advice, do everything you can to stop them."
Several massive new oil pipelines are proposed in the US and Canada, including Enbridge’s Northern Gateway proposal, which would pipe tar sands across hundreds of rivers and streams in BC and uninhabited areas making a spill potentially more catastrophic than the Kalamazoo spill.
“Enbridge has a terrible pipeline safety record matched only by its terrible clean up record. How can Canadians feel safe knowing the very same company that has left a major US river and community in tatters wants to pipe tar sands across hundreds of rivers and streams in BC?” said Nikki Skuce, ForestEthics Advocacy. “Enbridge has no social license to operate in British Columbia.”
Recently, the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report damning Enbridge’s response to the spill. NTSB Chair Deborah Hersman said, "Learning about Enbridge's poor handling of the rupture, you can't help but think of the Keystone Kops," referring to the incompetent policemen in silent films. "Why didn't they recognize what was happening? What took so long?"
Other than Northern Gateway Enbridge wants to expand its Line 9 in the east. This pipeline is the same age and construction as Line 6 that burst in the Kalamazoo. In addition, Enbridge wants to expand Flanagan South/Seaway, while TransCanada, another Canadian pipeline company, has submitted a new plan for the controversial KXL. Kinder Morgan wants to double its Transmountain pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver.
These pipeline projects combined would deliver 2.8 million barrels of tar sands oil per day to market. At CAPP’s long-term forecasted growth rates, which have never been achieved by the industry, this capacity would take about 15 years to fill.
For more information, please contact:
Adam Scott, Environmental Defence, (416) 347-3858
Nikki Skuce, ForestEthics Advocacy, (250) 877-7762 or (778) 210-0117
Mike Hudema, Greenpeace Canada, (780) 504-5601
Chelsea Flook, Director Sierra Club Prairie, (780) 722-1226