The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Enbridge's Hidden Agenda to Export Dangerous Tar Sands Through Ontario Exposed
Enbridge’s real plan for Line 9 was revealed yesterday in a document filed with the National Energy Board (NEB), which shows Enbridge plans not only to reverse the flow of oil through the pipeline to Montreal, but also to change what the pipeline can carry from normal oil to more dangerous tar sands oil, and dramatically expand the amount of oil carried by the pipeline.
“We’ve been concerned for months Enbridge is planning to ship more risky tar sands oil across Canada’s most populated region, but the company repeatedly denied that was its intention,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. “Enbridge’s plan could put the drinking water of millions of people at risk of a tar sands oil spill, all in the name of exporting more raw tar sands oil south.”
Tar sands oil is more corrosive to pipes and more dangerous to ship through pipelines, putting water and farmland along Line 9’s route at greater risk of oil spills. When tar sands oil spills, it is much harder and more costly to clean up than conventional oil, and it causes more damage to human and environmental health. Line 9 crosses major rivers in Ontario like the Rouge, Humber, Grand and Rideau, all of which feed into Lake Ontario, putting the drinking water for millions of people at risk of pollution.
In the spring, public hearings were held in Ontario into “Phase 1” of the Line 9 reversal from Sarnia to Hamilton. At the time, Enbridge repeatedly claimed the oil sent through the reversed pipeline would be light crude oil, or normal oil, and the NEB failed to consider increased risk of oil spills if raw tar sands oil were shipped instead. In the document released yesterday, Enbridge confirmed it will ask permission to change what goes through the pipeline to allow heavy crude, which can include tar sands oil.
Enbridge’s plan to increase the volume of oil shipped through Line 9 to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) suggests this is about exporting raw oil, not domestic refining jobs. The amount Line 9 could carry is more than double the amount currently refined in Montreal each day.
Recently obtained Freedom of Information documents revealed that Canadian diplomatic officials have been lobbying the Maine government on tar sands, likely setting the stage for a reversal of the pipeline from Montreal to Portland, Maine.
“The public has been kept in the dark about the full scale of Enbridge’s plans all along. Given the company’s track record of oil spills and failure to come clean about its plans, why should the Canadian public trust them now?” added Scott.
Environmental Defence recently discovered that the Line 9 pipeline is dangerously exposed to the elements where it crosses the Rouge River, increasing the risk of a spill for Rouge Park and the nearby community.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Fino Menezes
Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.
By Charli Shield
At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.
By Elizabeth Henderson
Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced: