Enbridge’s Proposal to Ship Tar Sands Oil Eastward Puts Ontario and Quebec Communities at Risk
Pipeline giant Enbridge filed yesterday to seek approval to reverse its Line 9B pipeline to bring more dangerous tar sands oil eastward to Montreal for export. Groups in Canada and the U.S., including Environmental Defence, Greenpeace Canada and Natural Resources Defense Council, are calling on the Canadian National Energy Board to review the full scope of this tar sands proposal.
“This project could turn Ontario into a sewer for dangerous tar sands oil, putting communities at risk of oil spills into drinking water and onto farmland in the most populated part of the country,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. “And all this to allow big oil to increase tar sands production and export.”
Several municipalities, including Hamilton, Toronto, Burlington and Mississauga situated along Line 9’s route have already taken the first step to protect the interests of their citizens, seeking answers on increased risks to water, health and the natural environment from the proposal.
”Enbridge’s plan to reverse its Line 9 pipeline opens the door to piping the toxic tar sands through Ontario and Quebec for export. Enbridge has previously denied any intention of bring tar sands oil east. However, the regulatory documents they filed today clearly opens the door to more dangerous tar sands oil,” said Dr. Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada.
In yesterday’s formal application to Canada’s National Energy Board, Enbridge seeks approval to reverse the flow of its Line 9 pipeline to Montreal to transport “heavy crude” oil from western Canada to the east coast, increasing the flow of the pipeline by 25 percent to 300,000 barrels per day. In the application announcement, Enbridge and the National Energy Board acknowledge the line may carry “heavy crude” and its purpose would be to access “western Canadian crude.”
The National Energy Board is required to review all major pipeline projects or modifications in Canada, and has already approved reversal of part of Line 9 between Sarnia, Ontario and Montreal. Citizens from the U.S. and Canada had previously submitted 41,000 comments to the Canadian National Energy Board opposing the first phase of the pipeline reversal.
It is widely understood this filing is part of a larger oil export plan to move tar sands out of Alberta, east through Montreal and down to Maine, raising similar concerns south of the border.
“Communities all over New England are rightfully concerned about increased risks to rivers and lakes from tar sands pipelines, with dozens of citizen-organized educational meetings and protests occurring over the last six months, and thousands of people in the region signing petitions against the pipeline,” said Danielle Droitsch of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Visit EcoWatch’s PIPELINES page for more related news on this topic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monday that 64 high-income nations have joined an effort to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine fairly, prioritizing the most vulnerable citizens, as Science reported. The program is called the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or Covax, and it is a joint effort led by the WHO, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
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By Gloria Oladipo
In the face of dangerous heat waves this summer, Americans have taken shelter in air conditioned cooling centers. Normally, that would be a wise choice, but during a pandemic, indoor shelters present new risks. The same air conditioning systems that keep us cool recirculate air around us, potentially spreading the coronavirus.
Toxins in water produced by cyanobacteria was likely responsible for more than 300 elephant deaths in Botswana this year, the country's wildlife department announced on Monday.
How Did Cyanobacteria Poison the Elephants?<p>Cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms common in water and sometimes found in soil. Some cyanobacteria produce neurotoxins.</p><p>The cyanobacteria "was growing in pans" or watering holes, the principal veterinary officer of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Mmadi Reuben, told reporters.</p><p>Reuben said the deaths had "stopped towards the end of June 2020, coinciding with the drying of pans."</p><p>"However we have many questions still to be answered such as why the elephants only and why that area only? We have a number of hypotheses we are investigating," added Reuben.</p><p>Similar elephant deaths have also been recorded in neighboring Zimbabwe.</p>
Climate Change to Blame?<p>Not all cyanobacteria are toxic but scientists say varieties dangerous to humans and animals are occurring more frequently as climate change drives up global temperatures.</p><p>Southern Africa's temperatures are rising at twice the global average, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.</p>
Elephant Paradise?<p>Africa's overall elephant population is declining due to poaching. But Botswana, home to almost a third of the continent's elephants, has seen numbers grow to around 130,000.</p><p>Botswana's government said it was continuing studies into the occurrence of the deadly bacteria. In the winter, elephants hydrate themselves mainly by eating roots and bark, especially of the baobab tree.</p>
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By Alexandra Villarreal
As West coast wildfires color the skies dystopian red and orange and an aggressive hurricane season batters the U.S. Gulf coast, college students are demanding their schools take bold action to address the climate crisis.
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The National Hurricane Center has run out of names for tropical storms this year and has now moved on to the Greek alphabet during an extremely active hurricane season. Late Monday night, Tropical Storm Beta became the ninth named storm to make landfall. That's the first time so many named storms have made landfall since 1916, when Woodrow Wilson was president, according to NBC News.
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