Skip to content

NEWS: Enbridge asks NEB for Gateway pipeline permit

Kitimat, British Columbia

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning, “Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. (has) asked regulators to approve the construction of its proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, which would transport oil from the oil sands region to Canada’s west coast for export overseas.”

“Enbridge filed a regulatory application (with the National Energy Board) for the construction of two 728-mile underground pipelines stretching from Edmonton, Alberta, to Kitimat, British Columbia. One pipeline would export up to 525,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands region and the other would import up to 193,000 barrels a day of condensate, which is used to dilute thick oil sands oil so it can flow through pipelines.”

“Enbridge’s application begins the government review of the project, which is expected to be completed by 2012. Construction would begin in 2013. …The C$5.5 billion ($5.2 billion) project would begin to open up Asian markets for Canada’s oil sands industry after its scheduled completion date in 2016.”

This is what all that means. By 2015-16, some 525,000 barrels of tar sands bitumen a day could be sent by pipeline to Kitimat, BC to be taken by 225 super tankers a year through the narrow Douglas Channel and then across the Pacific Ocean to Asian markets.

When asked about the possibility of an oil spill given this amount of tanker traffic, Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel said last month, “Can we promise there will never be an accident? No. Nobody can.”

This is unacceptable.

Even to get to the terminal in Kitimat, the 1,200 kilometre pipeline will, in the words of columnist Don Marten, need to “punch a hole through the Rockies” and then cross 1,000 rivers and streams in British Columbia.

It’s no wonder many First Nations in British Columbia have said they will not allow this project to proceed. The Council of Canadians will be standing in solidarity with them to stop this outrageous project.