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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Environment - More on: Concerns in NW Indiana about Enbridge Energy Partners LP's aging Line 6B oil pipeline and its replacement

Updating this Oct. 14th ILB entry, the NY Times had an interesting article by Ian Austen, published Oct. 23rd, about Canadian concerns about the same company. It begins:

OTTAWA — AND you thought pipeline politics in the United States were treacherous. Rebuffed by Washington on bringing the Keystone XL pipeline down through the western United States, Canada now finds that its Plan B — to build a pipeline to its west coast for shipping to Asia — has become mired in domestic politics thick enough to rival the tarlike oil it hopes to sell.

Getting the oil to the Far East first requires building a $5.5 billion, 730-mile pipeline from landlocked Alberta over a series of mountains to the coast of northern British Columbia. About 220 tankers a year would then navigate some of Canada’s most scenic yet treacherous waters to complete the trip.

While opposition from environmentalists and some native groups was always expected, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project has unexpectedly united British Columbians who normally are on opposite sides. Mistakes by Enbridge, which is based in Canada, have further fueled the resistance. They included missteps at regulatory hearings and the handling of a recent pipeline spill in Michigan, which was sharply criticized by the American authorities.

A few days earlier, on Oct. 18th, the NY Times Green Blog had a long entry by Dan Frisch titled "Aging Pipeline Poses Threat to Great Lakes, Report Says." It begins:
A report released on Thursday by the National Wildlife Federation questions the safety of a network of oil pipelines operated by Enbridge that run through the Great Lakes region.

The group contends that Enbridge’s pipelines in the area are especially susceptible to spills because of their age and the company’s recent history of accidents — creating a situation the environmental group said could be disastrous for the fragile ecosystems in Lake Michigan.

The report was prompted in part by Enbridge’s recent plans to expand its enormous Lakehead System of pipelines, which carry oil and other products from Canada to the United States.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 25, 2012 06:39 PM
Posted to Environment