Enbridge Energy Partners, the company responsible for the massive 2009 oil spill in Lake Michigan – during which a reported one million gallons of oil leaked into Talmadge Creek – says it can learn from the accident and avoid the same issues with the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
Some, including the chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, say that while Enbridge took responsibility for the spill, they have not been apologetic. Deborah Hersman, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that it should not have taken the company so long to realize what was happening. Enbridge responded by saying the company believes it was complying with all regulatory and industry standards at the time of the Michigan spill.
Whether the $3.7 million fine for the spill and the harsh comments from Hersman have any effect on the progress of the Northern Gateway remains to be seen. People in BC have been fighting the pipeline for months, but the project moves ever forward. It is currently under review by a federal committee.
The Harper government is not shy about showing its support for the pipeline – insulting environmental groups and people from outside the country speaking out against it. They have also been openly discussing trade with China and have threatened the US that Canada will trade its oil with China if Americans refused the Keystone XL pipeline. The Northern Gateway is how oil would get from the oil sands in Alberta to oil tankers on their way to China.
Enbridge says it is planning a PR campaign to demonstrate to Canadians – especially those in BC most directly affected by the new construction – that they are serious about the safety of this new pipeline.
Photo Credit: Jennzebel
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