Monday, October 28, 2013

Sorry Enbridge, Oil Pipelines Are Simply Not Safe

If you build them, they will fail.

It had to be pried out of the National Energy Board by freedom of information demands but the figures released show pipeline 'incidents' have doubled in Canada over the past ten years.

For some reason  (I don't know, could it be the mountainous terrain, the quakes, the rock and mud slides maybe?) British Columbia suffered the greatest number of 'incidents' between 2000 and 2012 - 279, or at least that's how many were reported.

By 2011, safety-related incidents — covering everything from unintentional fires to spills — rose from one to two for every 1,000 kilometres of federally-regulated pipeline. That reflects an increase from 45 total incidents in 2000 to 142 in 2011.

Nathan Lemphers, who was recently a technical and policy analyst with the Pembina Institute's oilsands program, doesn't believe that better reporting is the only reason for the apparent increase in reported incidents.

"The pipelines that are in the ground are getting older and, in some cases, there's more products flowing through them. So you're going to see increasing incidents, and increasing defects," he said.

So the next time the hockey game is interrupted by one of those soothing Enbridge commercials assuring you of how there's nothing more important to them than British Columbia's safety, feel free to yell "bullshit."  

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