Premier Redford Defends Oil Sands As Oil Spill Gets Cleaned Up

An estimated 3,000 barrels of oil spilled into the Red Deer River this week, discovered on June 7, and could affect the drinking water for towns downstream. Meanwhile, Premier Alison Redford is trying to assure residents in the province that this was a fluke accident and will be cleaned up quickly. She told The Globe and Mail that the cleaning is going quickly and they’re seeing “good containment.”

The Premier also said there would be a review of the spill to try and prevent something like this from happening again.

In hundreds of kilometers of pipeline, she said, spills are the exception, not the rule. A spill that occurred last year that involved the same company and 28,000 barrels of oil – one of the largest spills in Alberta’s history – is just finishing getting cleaned up now.

After a spill at the end of May, which the company didn’t know had occurred until they were informed by a competitor, NDP MLA Rachel Notley told CBC’s As It Happens that spills are a danger throughout the province and companies are currently being relied on to self monitor.

Monitoring is currently handled by the Energy Resources Conservation Board, which calls itself an “independent, quasi-judicial agency of the Government of Alberta.” The ERCB is responsible for regulating development of all of Alberta’s energy resources, of which the 392,000 kilometers of pipeline is just one element.

A dean of the University of Calgary’s business school told the Calgary Herald that the government needs to be building data to help them make decisions about how often inspections need to take place and when pipelines need to be retired. Meanwhile, the federal government is cutting jobs at Environment Canada and cutting the so-called red tape out of environmental assessment as well as pushing the Keystone XL Pipeline on the U.S. administration and the Northern Gateway Pipeline on First Nations groups in British Columbia.
What the actual environmental impact of this spill will remain to be seen, and the same can be said for the political impact.

Plainsview Midstream, the company responsible for the burst pipeline, regrets the incident.


Related Stories:

Oil Sands Fever and Lack of Environmental Review

Canada’s Oil Sands Threaten to Speed Global Warming

Scandals Surround Tar Sands Promotion

Photo Credit: Premier of Alberta


Magdalena J.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you!

Adam C.
Adam C5 years ago

Zombie vampires should not hold positions of power and responsibility.

Donald B.
Donald Burnison6 years ago

One spill is too many. We still have an obligation to take care of and preserve our planet.

Richard B.
Richard B6 years ago

How about a pipe-within-a-pipe? If the inner pipe leaks, the outer pipe contains it.

Elaine McAuliffe
Elaine McAuliffe6 years ago

When politicians get money from fossil fuel companies, they jump on the "self regulating" band wagon. Self regulation for these companies is no regulation at all, no oversight, no control over them making a mess. They do incomplete clean up, declare everything is fine, pay off the politicians and move on to the next spill. Far from the exception, oil spills are far and away too common.

Douglas Jackson
Douglas J6 years ago

Oh please, give me a break...exactly how do you contain 3000 barrels of oil, rushing downstream?

What she really means is that the water to oil ratio has diluted the evidence of the spill and deposited it from here to kingdom come. The oil will be in the environment waiting to slowly poison and kill everything that gets in its way, citizens of Alberta included.

Premier Alison Redford should have a Dr. in front of her title as in "Spin Doctor." If she thinks anyone will trust her now or in the future with their families health and welfare, the oil fumes must be
affecting her cognitive reasoning.

This spill is exactly what the opponents of the Keystone and the Northern Gateway pipeline have been concerned about, the destruction of clean land, air and water resources.

It is painfully obvious that money talks and Premier Alison and the rest of the Canadian Conservative governments complicity in the Tar Sands project should results in criminal charges
for crimes against mother earth and humanity.


Disgusted Canadian.

Shan D.
Shan D6 years ago

Ron B., you have your colors mixed up. In Canada the color red is associated with the Liberal Party. The color blue is associated with the Conservatives. Alison Redford is, in a few aspects, a "Red Tory" because she actually did a couple of good things during her time as premier - gave the AISH recipients a much-needed raise, and restored the funding to the schools that the former premier (who we derisively tend to call "Special Ed" because of his stupidity) took away. However, she is firmly in the pockets of the oil companies, so she's not fooling anybody.

Anybody except Kent S., of course, who must be a paid plant here. Kent, why don't you go back to trolling the CBC boards? You're just causing misinformation here.

Ron B.
Ron B6 years ago

This is white-washed propaganda from the leader of the "reddest", most conservative Province in Canada. There are far more oil spills and leaks taking place than the public ever hears about because most of them are small enough to slip under the news radar. But ANY leak or spill is still too much. The corrosive nature of tar sands has the potential to increase leakage from any pipeline that carries it. And where would the majority of the length of these pipelines be located? In the US because they would stretch all the way to refineries on our coastlines. Why? Because the oil produced would be shipped to overseas markets, not used here.

The whole concept of developing tar sands stinks on ice. Only there might not be much ice left anywhere on the planet after the tar sands finally run out. This concept is literally a dinosaur in an age that is crying out for clean, renewable sources of energy to be developed instead.

Kent Schnell
Kent Schnell6 years ago

Thank you Premier Redford for speaking honestly and forthrightly. Too many people are reacting in ignorance without understanding of the issues involved especially Americans.

Vivianne Mosca-Clark

Lies and more lies.
They run from truth.