Citing 'High Risk of Rupture,' Groups Call for Rejection of Enbridge Pipeline
Evidence submitted last week to the National Energy Board (NEB) regarding Enbridge’s application to reverse its Line 9 oil pipeline through Quebec and Ontario raised new concerns about the safety of the project and the high risk of an oil spill.
International pipeline safety expert, Richard Kuprewicz, who has more than 40 years of energy industry experience, has held management positions at pipeline companies and has assisted various parties in major investigations into pipeline ruptures, concluded that:
- There is a high risk that Line 9 will rupture in the early years following project implementation due a combination of cracking and corrosion.
- Enbridge’s approach to pipeline safety management for this pipeline will not prevent rupture under the operating conditions resulting from the implementation of the project.
- Should a rupture occur, Enbridge’s leak detection system and emergency response plans are inadequate. It would take up to four hours for emergency response in the Greater Toronto and Montreal areas. The response times are inadequate for the many high consequence areas (defined as highly populated areas, other populated areas, drinking water resources, environmentally sensitive areas and commercially navigable waterways) located along Line 9.
The evidence was filed as part of the NEB intervention by Equiterre, Environmental Defence, ENvironnement JEUnesse (ENJEU), The Association Québécoise de Lute Dontre la Pollution Atmosphérique (AQLPA), The Sierra Club Canada (Quebec Chapter), Climate Justice Montreal (CJM) and Nature Québec. This coalition of environmental groups is urging the NEB to reject Enbridge’s Line 9 reversal proposal.
“This evidence clearly shows what we have been saying for a long time. This project will put the health and the quality of the environment of our communities at risk both in Ontario and Quebec. In light of this, I cannot see how the NEB could approve this reckless project,” said Steven Guilbeault, senior director with Equiterre.
“This is the most damning indictment we’ve seen of Enbridge’s plan, which would saddle Ontario and Quebec with the danger of a tar sands oil spill,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. “The Line 9 proposal should be rejected. Our communities, our drinking water and our shared environment shouldn’t be put at risk.”
In light of Kuprewicz’s findings of a high risk for rupture of Line 9, energy economics experts, Ian Goodman and Brigid Rowan, who recently co-authored an influential study of Keystone XL job impacts, concluded:
- The implementation of this project would involve a substantial risk of major economic damage and disruption – and potential loss of life. This is especially true in Toronto and Montreal, where the pipeline runs parallel to or crosses key urban infrastructure and could threaten the drinking water supply.
- Due to Line 9B’s extraordinary proximity to people, water and economic activity, the rupture costs of the project vary from significant to catastrophic. Given the high risk of rupture, the expected project cost also varies from significant to catastrophic.
- Based on an evaluation of economic costs and benefits, the potential economic costs could exceed the potential economic benefits.
Visit EcoWatch’s PIPELINES page for more related news on this topic.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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