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Windsor-Essex chapter protests Kinder Morgan fracked gas pipeline


Yesterday's protest against Kinder Morgan in Windsor. Photo by Randy Emerson.

Yesterday’s protest against Kinder Morgan in Windsor. Photo by Randy Emerson.

The Council of Canadians Windsor-Essex chapter protested against Texas-based energy giant Kinder Morgan yesterday.

The chapter joined with Idle No More and Windsor on Watch to express their solidarity with the protectors on Burnaby Mountain in British Columbia who have been working to stop the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline. The company wants to increase the capacity of that Alberta to BC pipeline from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. The project would produce an estimated 270 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over a 35-year period.

In the process of organizing their solidarity protest, Windsor activists discovered that the Kinder Morgan Cochin pipeline ends in their city.

And so their event took place at the Plains Midstream Canada propane storage terminal on Matchette Road in the west end of Windsor. Kinder Morgan uses the Plains Midstream Canada Windsor-Sarnia pipeline to move propane and ethane. Kinder Morgan says, “In operation since 1979, the Cochin system transports propane from Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, to Windsor, Ontario. In the United States, the Cochin pipeline passes through North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan before crossing into Sarnia, Ontario.”

The company is now also set to move fracked gas from Ohio to Windsor.

This fall the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, “Under the Utica To Ontario Pipeline Access (UTOPIA) project, Kinder Morgan will build and operate a 240-mile, 12-inch diameter pipeline from Harrison County, Ohio, to Kinder Morgan’s Cochin Pipeline near Riga, Mich., where the company would then move product eastward to Windsor, Ontario, in Canada. UTOPIA would transport previously refined or fractionated natural gas liquids, including ethane and propane, with an initial 50,000 barrels per day (b/d) of capacity, which is expandable to more than 75,000 b/d. …The pipeline is expected to be in service by early 2018.”

Windsor-Essex chapter activist Randy Emerson says, “Had it not been for Burnaby, we may never had known the company was here. If Kinder Morgan persists in building a pipeline through Burnaby Mountain then maybe we should shine a light on ALL their pipelines.”

That could also include a 95,000 barrels per day condensate pipeline that Kinder Morgan Cochin wants to have between Texas and Alberta. The Vancouver Observer reported just last week, “Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC is now allowed to reverse and expand to build a 1,900-mile proposed pipeline to transport gas produced by hydraulic fracturing of the Eagle Ford Shale basin in Texas north into Alberta. It would carry gas condensate that is used to dilute the bitumen in the tar sands. The extra-thick oil produced in the tar sands needs to be cut with 30 per cent condensate so it can be carried, according to the Financial Post.”

That Financial Post article highlights, “Demand for condensate in Alberta is poised to skyrocket… The extra-thick oil is typically cut with 30% condensate so it can move in pipelines. By 2035, producers could require 893,000 barrels a day of the ultra-light oil, with imports making up 786,000 barrels of the total, National Energy Board data show.”

As Emerson says, “Stop Kinder Morgan.”