Today is the two-year anniversary of the rupture of Enbridge Pipeline 6b which spilled over a million gallons of crude into the Kalamazoo River. Today, groups across North America have organized actions under the message “We are the Kalamazoo” to highlight that as long as these pipelines pass near our communities, we are all at risk.
There are actions taking place all over the United States as well as Ontario, Quebec, and BC. Through these provinces run old oil pipelines through which industry wants to pump tar sands crude. But as the Harper government and the fossil fuel industry continue to push their dirty agenda and expand the tar sands infrastructure, communities continue to fight back.
Groups in Alberta have called for an independent review of pipeline safety in the province and the Tories have finally said they will launch a review; however, the “devil will indeed be in the details” says Prairie Regional Organizer Scott Harris and we will continue to keep the pressure up to ensure that any such review protects communities.
In Eastern Canada, there has been mounting opposition to pipelines part of the Trailbreaker project (Line 6B was part of this pipeline system) which is being driven as an export pipeline. Maritimers are also raising alarm bells as TransCanada Corp. continues talking about an East-West pipeline slated to slated to bring tar sands through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
In BC, local community groups are connecting the dots between the Kalamazoo spill and the proposed expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Enbridge Line 6B is an old and aging pipeline, as is the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, BC. In other words, folks along the pipeline route may just be waiting for another spill. The PIPE-UP Network, a group of local residents in the Fraser Valley organizing against the proposed expansion, issued a press release with the Council of Canadians expressing concern about the lack of transparency and information sharing from the company.
Harper will continue to silently push these pipelines through, whether they be for tar sands, fracked natural gas, or any other substance. Lack of regulation and uncontrolled corporate expansion is continually resisted. Take time to attend events and connect with local groups, or organize your own community to contact local decision-makers and challenge corporate power.