Some risky reminders

Letter to the editor


I am increasingly alarmed by information Enbridge is supplying about their proposed crude oil pipeline from Alberta to Kitimat. This letter is to remind you about some of the risks and ways you can express your concerns to have them heard by the Joint Review Panel that will decide whether or not to approve this project.

Mr. Carruthers, President of this Enbridge project, stated in his June letter to the editor: “Enbridge delivers almost a billion barrels of hydrocarbons a year through its pipeline system with a safety record of 99.99 percent”. This indicates they do not safely deliver ‘almost’ 100,000 (1,000,000,000 x .0001) barrels per year at their current volumes. I am aware of two Enbridge crude oil spills so far in 2011:  28,000 barrels northeast of Peace River Alberta in May ( and 1,500 barrels in the Northwest Territories in June ( Those are possibly aging pipelines, but using their up-to-date monitoring technology Enbridge did not immediately detect the leaks and shut off the flow. Even a modern pipeline would be susceptible to human error, landslides, erosion, and aging.

The planned Northern Gateway pipeline would “carry an average of 525,000 barrels of petroleum per day” (Enbridge website). Using Mr. Carruthers’ statistics we could then expect spills/leaks of 100,000 barrels along this line in within 6 years. Even one hundredth of that amount would be horrific.

This is like pipeline roulette.  It would be followed by tanker roulette with more than 225 crude oil supertanker trips per year through the Douglas Channel to Pacific Rim countries. The games weigh heavily in favour of corporations with little but their reputation to lose.

To have your concerns heard you must register to make an oral statement and/or write a letter to the Joint Review Panel or 1-877-288-8803. You can also contact Greg at or 250-847-9693 for assistance in this process. Your participation will make a difference.



Carlie Kearns

Houston, B.C.

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