Ducks in rehabilitation after Enbridge's devestating Michigan oil spill in July 2010 © U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region

The Facts - Enbridge Northern Gateway

About the pipeline and tanker project

  • Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline would carry over half a million barrels of crude oil per day from the tar sands to the rugged BC coast.
  • The proposed pipeline would facilitate tar sands expansion by 30%, Canada’s fasting growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • If built, the Northern Gateway pipeline would cross over 1,000 streams and rivers, including the salmon-bearing Fraser and Skeena watersheds.
  • The pipeline would bring crude oil tankers to BC’s north coast (where the Great Bear Rainforest is located) for the first time ever.

Public opposition to Enbridge Northern Gateway

  • In March 2010, nine Coastal First Nations declared a ban on tanker traffic and promised to do whatever it takes to stop the Enbridge pipeline.
  • Over 130 First Nations have signed on to the Fraser Declaration banning tar sands from being transported through their territories.
  • According to a 2010 poll, 80 per cent of British Columbians support a ban on oil tanker traffic on BC’s North Coast.
  • The Union of BC Municipalities passed two resolutions against Enbridge’s pipeline and tanker project, and potentially impacted municipalities have since passed their own resolutions (including Smithers, Terrace, Masset, Prince Rupert, and Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District).
  • At Enbridge’s 2009 AGM, former CEO Patrick Daniel stated that he did not want to proceed with a project that is “opposed and of concern to others.” Interestingly, Patrick Daniel retired in February 2012.

Enbridge has a history of environmental damage

  • Between 1999 and 2008, Enbridge has had over 610 spills that released approximately 21 million litres (132,000 barrels) of hydrocarbon, the organic compound in oil, gas or bitumn
  • In July 2010 they spilled nearly 4 million litres of tar sands into the Kalamazoo River that has yet to be re-opened.
  • In 2009, Enbridge had 103 reportable spills, leaks and releases, and 91 spills in 2010.
  • In 2009, US affiliate Enbridge Energy Partners agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a lawsuit brought against the company by the state of Wisconsin for 545 environmental violations. Wisconsin’s Department of Justice, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said “…the incidents of violation were numerous and widespread, and resulted in impacts to the streams and wetlands throughout the various watersheds.”
  • In 2011, an Inuit hunter in the Northwest Territories came across an oil spill that Enbridge initially claimed was only 4 barrels through a “pin-hole” leak. The spill is now estimated to have spilled over 1,500 barrels of oil1.

1. O'Neil, Peter. (2012, January 19). 1,500 barrels of oil spilled in N.W.T. last spring, Enbridge says. Montreal Gazette. Original article link.

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