Reportedly, Enbridge averages 18 oil spills a year from its web of decaying pipelines. Here is a short list of just nine, reserving the tenth for British Columbia if the Northern Gateway pipeline and more Kinder Morgan pipelines push their ways through our ecologically delicate and still pristine province:
2001 – Alberta, Canada – 1,003,800 gallons
2002 – Minnesota, USA – 252,000 gal
2003 – Wisconsin, USA – 189,000 gal
2007 – N. Dakota, USA – 9,030 gal
2007 – Wisconsin, USA – 176,000 gal
2009 – Alberta, Canada – 168,000 gal
2010 – N. Dakota, USA – 126,000 gal
2010 – Michigan, USA – 1,000,000 gal
2011 – NWT, Canada – 63,000 gal
For just one sample – the Michigan spill – which discharged close to two Olympic-sized swimming pool’s worth of toxic heavier-than-water dilbit (diluted bitumen) into the Kalamazoo watershed, the volatile components of which, e.g. benzene, toluene, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and others, carcinogens all, poisoned the air around the spill for miles around, for weeks, causing long-lasting health damage amongst citizens – the Michigan Messenger reports:
“Enbridge argues that it cannot be held liable for the oil spill because it has followed all relevant laws, regulations and industry standards and the damage was not foreseeable. / The company also argues that the charges against it are improper ‘because federal, state and/or local authorities and agencies have mandated, directed, approved and/or ratified the alleged actions or omissions.’…”
Just substitute the Vancouver Sun for the Michigan Messenger, and we’ll see the perils we in British Columbia would be getting our selves into if we allow such reckless and sociopathic corporate monsters like Enbridge and Kinder Morgan to have their way in our province, especially one run by a spineless political party which presents the shameful “neutral” public stance while, behind closed doors, it is in truth pro-pipeline and therefore pro-tankers, and therefore not anti-spill.
Now, we are in a quandary created by the political and legal manipulations of the Harper government, which allows Enbridge and Kinder Morgan to force their ways into British Columbia regardless what British Columbians and First Nations wish or say, while giving them a virtual carte-blanche to spill with impunity, in which cases they would just pass the buck back up, arguing, I repeat, that “charges against them are improper ‘because federal, state and/or local authorities and agencies have mandated, directed, approved and/or ratified the alleged actions or omissions.'”
For the practical solution to halt the pipeline and tankers at the BC/AB border, please read my blog [Where is the DAMAGE DEPOSIT from Enbridge, Kinder Morgan and tanker tycoons?]
Not if but when a spill occurs, on land and/or in water, Enbridge and/or Kinder Morgan will pass the responsibility and blame back up to Ottawa and Victoria, who both will pass the cost back down to the street level voters of British Columbia.
And we British Columbians, are we foolish and/or greedy enough to allow Ottawa, Enbridge and Kinder Morgan, and our own provincial government, to use our “super-natural” British Columbia as a mule for the filthy and toxic excrement of Alberta, and, worse, as a toilet, in the case of a spill?
Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)