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The Lowdown on the Enbridge Pipeline

July 27, 2012

The Lowdown on the Enbridge Pipeline

News outlets in British Columbia and beyond have been pumping out story after story on the controversial new pipeline proposed by Enbridge Inc. Whether or not you’ve chosen a side already, it helps to have a sense of the facts. At PVC Plus Drilling, we make it our business to stay informed on key issues such as the Northern Gateway Project, because in big and small ways, the energy industry affects all of us.

  • Who: Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. The company was founded in 1949 under the name of Interprovincial Pipeline, since the original Enbridge pipeline was built to move oil from Western Canada to eastern refineries. Today, Enbridge runs Canada’s largest energy distribution company and distributes gas to more than 1.9 million people.
  • What: The Northern Gateway Project, a proposed $5.5 billion pipeline that would run from Alberta oilsands near Edmonton, to Kitimat on the West Coast of British Columbia. There are two proposed pipelines, one for the westerly flow of oil, the other for the easterly flow of condensate (which is used for thinning petroleum for transport).
  • When: The earliest consultations for the Northern Gateway Project began in 2008. Construction is slated to begin in 2013 subject to public and government regulatory review.
  • Why: Enbridge and its supporters herald the Northern Gateway pipelines as a great economic benefit to Canada. In a competitive global market, it will provide Canada with access to growing markets in Asia and the West coast of the US. Enbridge further claims that the construction of the pipeline will create thousands of new jobs.
  • Why not: Critics of the Enbridge and the Northern Gateway project worry about the risk to the environment, pointing to the company’s record for oil spills (809 spills on Enbridge lines between 1999-2010). Most recently in July 2010, a leaking Enbridge line spilled an estimated 843, 444 gallons of oil into a subsidiary of the Kalamazoo river in southwest Michigan. With more than 50 kilometres of waterways and wetlands affected, and 320 people reporting symptoms from crude oil exposure, it’s not surprising that the cleanup is still ongoing, and ranks as the costliest onshore cleanup in US history at $800 million.

PVC Plus Drilling is a trusted distributor and manufacturer of environmental drilling products, operating out of Montreal, QB since its inception in 2002.

Pipe Up Against Enbridge: http://pipeupagainstenbridge.ca/
Northern Gateway Project: www.northerngateway.ca
 

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