Enbridge pipeline spill raises doubts about safety promises to BC

Northern Gateway Pipeline would bring risks to BC lakes and rivers

TERRACE As the Governor of Michigan declares a state of disaster due to a three million-litre oil spill from an Enbridge Pipeline near Kalamazoo, the company still expects British Columbians to accept its assurances that a much bigger planned pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat, BC would be safe.

“Enbridge has been mailing out glossy pamphlets claiming their technology is so good that nothing can go wrong,” said New Democrat Natural Resources Critic Nathan Cullen (Skeena – Bulkley Valley). 

“However, the major spill in Michigan is just the latest in a trail of leaks that has people questioning their promises.”

The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline would stretch 1,170 km from Bruderheim, AB to Kitimat, BC, crossing more than 780 waterways and carrying 525,000 barrels of tar sands crude oil daily – nearly three times that of the leaky Michigan pipeline.

The BP offshore oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has heightened worldwide awareness of the dangers of oil production and transportation. Opposition to Enbridge, already strong in Northwest British Columbia, has also increased since the Gulf spill.

“Enbridge is asking us to put our rivers and lakes at risk for the sake of bigger profits for themselves and their tar sands backers” said Cullen.

“They’re offering us a couple of economic crumbs but a major spill, as we are seeing in the Gulf and now in Michigan, would be catastrophic for our fisheries and tourism industries and spoil our environment for generations.

“The Conservative government is bending over backwards to help oil companies expand with little regard for our environment.  They are dismantling our environmental protections in spite of all the lessons showing things can and do go wrong – with devastating results,” concluded Cullen.