Monday, January 9, 2012
Hearings Underway on Enbridge Pipeline
Hearings on the controversial Enbridge Pipeline got underway in Kitimat last week with more than 2000 people signing up to submit testimony. The pipeline which would carry tar sands oil with the BC coast, would cross the Fraser, Skeena and several of its tributaries before being loaded onto oil tankers at Kitimat. The tankers would then carry oil through the treacherous Douglas Channel and along the pristine Central Coast of BC, one of the worlds largest tracts of undeveloped coastline and temperate rain forest. Opponents of the plan argue that the route posses an existential threat to the ecosystems which could be potentially impacted and that given the history of oil pipelines (including those owned by Enbridge who had 804 spills between 1999 and 2010) it is only a matter of time before a spill happens. Among the principle opponents to the pipeline are first nations groups who have unanimously opposed the pipeline because of the threat it poses to the health of the regions ecosystem, an ecosystem which still sustains them both literally and metaphorically.
Proponents of the pipeline including Prime Minister Stephen Harper have recently complained about an influx of money from international environmental groups who support the opposition's cause. However, they have had no complaints about the massive amount of lobbying money being poured into the discussion by multinational oil giants on the other side.
More information on the hearings from the globe and mail:
and from the Vancouver Sun:
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