Enbridge Applies for Pipeline Reversal in Eastern Canada

B. McPherson
Enbridge wants us to believe that their pipelines are safe. This one hasn't leaked -- yet. It lies exposed in an Ontario river.

Enbridge has applied to the National Energy Board to allow it to reverse the flow of oil in its Line 9 pipeline. Between Sarnia and Montreal, the company wants to be able to ship Alberta oil to the Suncor refinery in Montreal.

It is being touted as a move to achieve energy security for Canada. Canada imports about half the oil used in the country while at the same time shipping oil south to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Others are not so enthusiastic about the plan.

Enbridge has admitted that they might want to ship oil sands bitumen through Line 9 at a later date. The bitumen is loaded with sand and will have a sandpaper effect on the inside of the pipes. Currently, the 60 year old conduit has only carried sweet, light petroleum. Some are even more outspoken. A former employee is quoted on CBC who thinks this is a revival of a plan to ship the oil to Portland Maine.

"All they want to do is transit through Montreal and then ship it to the U.S. There will be no energy security. This is bollocks," says Steven Guilbeault, head of Equiterre, an environmental group based in Montreal.”CBC News

Enbridge says that criticism of its plan is unfair, but critics point to the safety record of the pipeline company, especially the mess caused by the big spill in the Kalamazoo River which has yet to be cleaned up completely. Allegations of cover up and harassment of whistle blowers swirled around that incident.

Opposition against Enbridge’s scheme to ship oil sand product to the west coast of Canada has jelled with thousands turning out for demonstrations to oppose the plan to ship it west. In their zeal to push their plans, they have ignored the foreign investors in their company while criticizing philanthropists for donating money to defend the environment.

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