Will the Enbridge Gateway pipeline cross British Columbia - Enbridge Northern Gateway Community and Municipal Relations Manager Michele Perret says, yes
Will the Enbridge Gateway Pipeline cross British Columbia? Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Community and Municipal Relations Manager, Michele Perret says yes. Premier Allison Redford hopes yes. Across the border B.C. Premier Christy Clark says no unless she gets her ransom from Alberta and 50% of the B.C. aboriginal community say no, it’s just too much of an environmental risk.
Michele Perret was present at the October 29, 2012 Wetaskiwin Chamber Business Luncheon to make a case for the proposed Enbridge Pipeline. She cautioned Chamber members that 99 per cent of Canadian oil is currently shipped to the U.S. She said the U.S. knows Canada is very vulnerable as a supplier. With only them as the purchaser of Canadian oil and having other suppliers, Canada could see the U.S. requesting less and less of our crude. She said the Northern Gateway pipeline would open routes to Asian countries and diversify the markets.
$5.5 Billion dollar project
The proposed Pipeline will include 1177 km. of pipelines. One pipeline will carry crude to Kitimat, BC, while a second would bring condensate back to Alberta to thin the bitumen. During the construction phase the project will create 4100 person years of employment in B.C. and 1400 person years of employment in Alberta. Construction total employment is 62,000 person years across Canada and $4.3 Billion in labor income. This includes onsite, purchases, indirect and induced. In total the Pipeline will be a $5.5 Billion dollar project.
But, there are split views on the project. On October 22nd about 3500 protestors gathered at the Legislature Grounds in Victoria, B.C. to voice their disapproval of the pipeline project. They expressed concern about a pipeline that will be carrying diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands across B.C. to Kitimat where it will be put on tanker and hauled to Asian markets. Opponents of the project fear the environmental impact of a pipeline leak or the damage to the coastline from a tanker spill. Following the protest Victoria media carried stories about how emphatic the aboriginal groups were and that they were quoted as saying ‘they would take up arms if need be’. Ms. Perret did say Enbridge would be targeting a 15% aboriginal workforce and added Enbridge has offered the aboriginal communities a package that includes a revenue stream, training and a community investment.
What are the safety factors incorporated into the Gateway Pipeline project
Perret stated that the pipeline leak in Michigan was a humbling experience for Enbridge but today pipelines are being built and operated safely. She added it is a significant change from 20 years ago. Some safety features to be included in the Enbridge Pipeline include: 1)Route and watercourse crossing is based on engineering and environmental from both Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal Communities, 2) Stringent steel chemistry and strength testing 3) Fusion bond epoxy coated pipe will be used and inspected 4) Every weld will be inspected during construction 5) Cathodic protection to prevent corrosion during operation 6) Strategic location of remote control valves and 7) Pipe hydrostatically tested
Perret also mentioned safety features of the marine part of the operation. “The Douglas Channel is 1.4 km. wide and very deep making it very safe for vessels to go in and out of the harbour.” She also noted that all tankers would have two tug boats running along the vessel on the way out to the open ocean and the speed would be capped at 10 to 12 knots for the ships.
Premier Christy Clark has been invited by Enbridge to discuss the project but has declined the invitation.
Planning for the pipeline began in 2002. Hearings on the proposal are in progress with a new set of hearings expected to begin in the New Year. Enbridge will make its final arguments in April, and the federal government will make its decision on the proposal by December of next year.
And, just as confidence in the Pipeline was beginning to gain some momentum, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit the British Columbia coastline on October 27th creating another whole set of questions Enbridge will have to have answers for.