Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Report: Northern Gateway Pipeline involves unacceptable environmental risks

   Enbridge Company based in Calgary would like to build a pipeline called the Northern Gateway from Alberta to the west coast port of Kitimat in northern British Columbia. The pipeline would transport bitumen from the Alberta Oil Sands to the port and then the oil would be exported.
  A new report by several groups including the Canadian Pembina Institute and the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council claims that the pipeline would involve unacceptably high environmental risks. Any spill of the bitumen could have a disastrous effect on the region's sensitive habitat according to the report.
   The report notes that cleaning up bitumen is much more difficult than cleaning up regular oil. Paul Stanway who manages communications for Enbridge claimed that the report said nothing new and simply repeated earlier criticisms. He maintained that the project would entail some risk as would any project of similar size and scale.
Map of proposed pipeline route from Alberta to BC.

  Given that the criticism that has been generated by the Keystone XL pipeline that is to carry Alberta oil down to the Texas Gulf Coast there is renewed pressure to build a pipeline from Alberta to BC so that Canada can diversity it exports of oil to countries such as China. Many environmentalists however, oppose not just new pipelines but also any rapid development of  Oil Sands oil since its production produces considerably more greenhouse gases than regular oil. For more see this article.

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