Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Enbridge Has a Bad Track Record in US, Why Would BC Expect Better?


The Enbridge corporation is facing stiff resistance against their proposal to build a pipeline from the Alberta tarsands to Kitimat on BC's Northern Coast. The oily extract would then be loaded into tankers and shipped down the coast, in the process threatening the Fraser, Skeena, and Central Coast ,three of BC's more productive and important salmon bearing ecosystems. The pipeline is to traverse some of the most rugged terrain on earth, where landslides, avalanches, floods and earthquakes are the norm rather than the exception and oil tankers would be forced to navigate the treacherous douglas channel and other fjords along BCs coast a region known for fearsome tides, winds and currents. All this is a recipe for certain disaster, for the Fraser, the Skeena, and the Central Coast. We know the devastation oil spills can bring about and in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill marine areas in Prince William Sound have not yet recovered. More than 20 years later shell fish remain toxic and many herring stocks have never reappeared. The question remains, why is the BC government even entertaining the possibility of allowing this project to go forward given the economic, and ecological importance of all three of those systems for the province?

Enbridge of course has sought to assure BC voters and locals along the proposed pipeline corridor of the project's safety. They've offered millions of dollars to local first nations bands for support and for the most part its been turned down. The question of Enbridge's actual commitment to safety and cleaning up any potentially disastrous spill is real and given their actions following last summers spill in Michigan, their claims appear more dubious than ever. In July 2010 an Enbridge owned pipeline burst, spilling 3 million liters of oil into the Kalamazoo River. At the time the corporation promised to pay all reasonable claims and took full responsibility for the cost of the cleanup. Now, only 9 months later they're in court arguing that they are not legally liable for many of the expenses. Bottom line is, they're willing to say whatever it takes to momentarily soothe the public into allowing their projects to go forward. Their record however is less than stellar and actions speak louder than words. More information in an article from the Common Sense Canadian:

http://thecanadian.org/k2/item/623-enbridge-when-intentions-are-not-offers

The January Issue of the Osprey also features an article on the Enbridge pipeline project. Subscribe and receive your copy today:

http://www.ospreysteelhead.org/subscribe.htm

1 comment:

salmonguy said...

here's a sharp website in relation to Enbridge from BC First Nations that our readers may be interested in: www.savethefraser.ca