Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Looking deeper: Northern Gateway Pipeline

How does one begin to talk about the power of large corporations?  Their shear mass, their money to hire talented wordsmiths, lovely artists and fund projects with the "downtrodden" to distract us from what they are really doing.  After seeing this commercial I simply could not keep turning my head in disgust anymore.  Honestly, the capacity that Enbridge has to gloss over the reality of what they are doing is remarkable.  The details of what this means for the communities that will be impacted and the habitats that will be destroyed to make one pipeline to carry oil and another to carry condensation are just small blips in what they consider to be their "ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, habitat remediation and protection."
Doesn't that sound lovely.  They destroy one habitat and then fund other groups that are working to protect other areas.  I guess as long as they don't need to build a pipeline there then it's a great place to conserve.
The nitty gritty details of this pipeline are as follows:
A 36" in diameter pipeline will be built from near Edmonton Alberta to Kitimat British Columbia.  This pipeline will traverse the Rocky and Coastal Mountain ranges, many communities and end up at the port in Kitimat where the oil would then be transported to Asia on tankers that will have to navigate through the narrow channels and fjords of the Great Bear Rainforest.
The oil is coming from the Alberta Oil Sands (often referred to as the Tar Sands).
The oil is going to be used in countries that are growing in their need of this non-renewable substance rather than looking harder for alternatives.  In the meantime the ecosystems that will be destroyed to build this structure can never be repaired.  Permanent damage for 560 permanent jobs and 525,000 barrels of oil per day for 30 years.
If there is an oil spill, leak or damage we can not count on Enbrige to responsibly clean up the oil.  Their reputation in this area is not sterling.  In fact it's as dirty as oil.  So the people of this province need to stand up and say no.  Of course our current government, sensing the storm of discontent already raining down about this project are now changing the rules left, right and center to prevent the people from having our say.  Apparently if it comes to Harper's precious oil tycoons all bets are off and the projects will be done whether Canadians like it or not.  The Northern Gateway project is one of three plans to bring more oil through our province.  The other two are another pipeline project run by Kinder Morgan (which just happens to literally run through my back yard) and CN Rail plans on taking oil by train to ports as well.  Does this sound like a country with a "demonstrated commitment to improving environmental standards" or a country that is being denigrated by corporate interests and short term dollar signs?
 I'll leave it up to you to form your own opinion as I have.
If you'd like to stand up to this you can check this out.
And if you'd like to see just what we stand to loose please watch the film below.

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