Oil Spills and Enbridge

I am sick of oil spills. In fact, since the days of the Exxon Valdez, I have not been able to engage with anything to do with them. From the oil soaked birds to the dead fish, it upsets me to the point that I cannot listen to or view the coverage. You can call me a coward or an ostrich however, I am not unaware, I am completely sickened by it. I can’t do anything about it except stop driving and protest. I can’t stop driving or I can’t work but I can protest. In 2010 there has got to be a better way to transport oil. It is hard to believe that there is not a material they could use that would not leak.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a catastrophe of epic proportions. It is going to fundamentally change the way people make a living in the Gulf. It is going to make poor people much, much poorer. In an area of the US that is reliant on resources, specifically ocean resources, the economy could not really take this hit. Bring in Enbridge. Enbridge, a Canadian company, has a pipeline running in the US. Now there has been another oil spill, this time the result of a pipeline rupture in Michigan. The leak has been stopped but not before millions of litres of oil had leaked into a local river. I cannot imagine how angry Americans are at the fact that two foreign companies have caused major oil spills in their country.

Enbridge is proposing to build a pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands (don’t get me started) to the northern coast of BC to then be loaded on to tankers and sent to Asia. Kitimat, BC, the proposed end of the pipeline is also in a sensitive ecological area. An oil spill there would be just as devastating to the environment there as it was in the Gulf of Mexico. Traditional ways of life would be wiped out in the event of an oil spill. Just about everyone who lives in the area is opposed to the pipeline. I am sure everyone along the way is opposed as well. The only ones who seem to be in favour are local and provincial politicians.

I hope that this pipeline does not get built. Trucking the oil may be inefficient and expensive but if there is a spill it is only a truck full of oil rather than the millions and millions that can be leaked if there is a spill. Plus the pipeline will run through largely rural and inhabited areas of the province. How long would it take for an oil spill to be found there? I believe a pipeline is absolutely wrong for BC.