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.
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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