Kelowna BC: Enbridge Takes Its Dog and Pony Show to Kelowna

B. McPherson

Here's a group of "environmental terrorists" whose weapon is common sense.
Hundreds of protesters showed up in Kelowna today to demonstrate against the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal. The proposal would see a twinned pipeline carrying diluted bitumen or dilbit to the west coast of British Columbia and solvent east to the pipeline head. The proposed route would take the pipeline through the most unspoiled area left in N. America and terminate at Kitimat at the head of Douglas Channel.

Opposition to the proposal has grown exponentially as the public has become informed of the scope and danger to the environment. In addition to the unease about driving pipelines, pumping stations and roads through pristine wilderness is the poor safety record of this company. First Nations bands in BC have outstanding land claims and they are united in their opposition to this project.

Many people are starting to think that the fix is in and this public consultation procedure is a sham. The federal government has already made its stance clear that it wants the pipeline to proceed. The Alberta premier is more than keen that the bitumen destined for Asia travel this way. Enbridge has been advertising in BC telling people how great the project would be while showing Douglas Channel as a shoal and island free passageway.

Now that the hearing have moved to its latest stages, dealing only with route changes, Enbridge has slipped in a proposal to increase the capacity of the tank farm on the BC coast. An independent intervener has exposed new plans in the proposal.

“Wier goes on to say: “It is everyone’s guess why there is a doubling of the tank farm capacity, but certainly points out to the larger pipeline shipping volumes the company had indicated would be a possible Phase II of the project.” She says: “It looks like Northern Gateway is quietly moving into the 850,000 barrels a day proposal, twice the volume the application has been cross-examined about.  It is clearly an abuse of process.” Josette Weir

There are a myriad of issues arising from this proposed mega-project but safety looms large. Enbridge has already acknowledged that spills will occur. They have a very sorry record of their cleanup efforts on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. It has been two years since a ruptured pipeline spewed dilbit into the river. Because the sludgey goo must be diluted and heated to make it flow, when it hits the cold water it sinks. The EPA is now, two years later, demanding that Enbridge dredge the river to remove as much of the product as possible. Enbridge is resisting.

If you build it, it will leak.

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