jeudi 29 juillet 2010

Enbridge : autre accident dans l'Ouest Canadien

First Nations, politicians and Enbridge respond to accident in Douglas Channel

— filed under: , , ,
By Shaun Thomas
The Northern View

The Petersfield sits damaged in waters near Kitimat following an accident in the Douglas Channel last weekend.

An incident involving a 187-metre bulk freighter traveling between Vancouver and Kitimat last weekend shows why the northwest should be leery of allowing tanker traffic in north coast waters, says Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

The Bahama-registered Petersfield suffered a steering mishap while running at full manoeuvring speed just south of Grant Point, approximately two hours south of Kitimat, resulting in severe damage to the front of the vessel.

“What we know from the Canadian Transportation Safety Board is that the 40,000-ton (dead weight) vessel veered sharply starboard and hit the beach at a depth of 400 metres early Saturday,” said Cullen.

“If that freighter had grounded itself in shallow water, the results could have been far more serious…Had this been an oil tanker with a full payload, it could have been catastrophic,” Cullen said, pointing out ships of the disabled vessel’s tonnage carry tens of thousands of barrels of oil or diesel for propulsion alone.

And North Coast MLA Gary Coons echoed those sentiments.

“It’s a sure wake up call to those who insist that oil tankers are safe on our coast. If we allow supertankers…It’s not a question of if it will happen, it’s a question of when it will happen!”

The incident has also caused concern amongst members of the Village of Hartley Bay, who experienced firsthand what can happen when a large ship sinks in their territory with the sinking of the Queen of the North.

“The Gitga’at are of the sea and we have always known that oil and gas tankers in these waters were a horrible and frightening idea. Hopefully the Petersfield incident will help Canada and the world understand that too,” said spokesperson Cameron Hill.

“This ship was likely being guided by Pacific pilots who are the best navigators and seafarers in the entire world. But even with them onboard and other sophisticated safety precautions, these shippingaccidents still occur. Mechanical failure or human error, the outcomes are the same for our culture and our territory."

“This ship was likely being guided by Pacific pilots who are the best navigators and seafarers in the entire world. But even with them onboard and other sophisticated safety precautions, these shipping accidents still occur. Mechanical failure or human error, the outcomes are the same for our culture and our territory. The oil spills over

our Elders, our children, our Spirit bears and killer whales,” added Hereditary chief Ernie Hill.

Cullen noted that the incident took place on the proposed route of tankers that would use the Enbridge Gateway pipeline, which would transport 700,000 barrels of oil and condensate between Alberta and Kitimat requiring about 225 ships yearly, and the Gitga’at of Hartley Bay note that those ships would actually be larger than the infamous Exxon Valdez. However, Enbridge VP of Public and Government Affairs Steve Greenaway said it is important to note that there are significant differences between the ship and the process that was in place with the Petersfield accident and what would be in place should the proposed terminal in Kitimat become a reality.

“The biggest difference is that there would be an escort tug tethered to the tanker and its purpose would be to step in should an incident similar to this one occur…We have simulated the size of the ship in probably the top simulator available and simulated an incident similar to what we believe occurred here, and in all simulations it proved that the escort tug could maneuver the tanker in this situation. The tethered tug model isn’t going to be cheap, but it is absolutely critical and we wouldn’t consider moving tankers up the Douglas Channel without that,” he said.

Other differences would be double hull tankers and independent vetting of the ships that would be eligible to use the terminal, looking at things such as safety record of the ship and the crew and the age of the ship.

“This does reinforce what we are saying, which is that there is currently risk to the coast from current actions. There is a sense out there that there are no tankers…What we need to speak about is the first response capability on the coast. We would be investing over $100 million in first response capabilities,” said Greenaway.

And despite the accident Cullen noted that the message he has been getting from municipalities isn’t necessarily one opposing energy-based developments.

“Coincidentally, I just spent the weekend with over 25 community leaders from across the northwest who all agreed on the need for energy projects that strengthen our economy while respecting our northwest values and ecosystems.”

Investigations into the incident by both the Transportation Safety Board and Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association are underway. Ironically, the incident took place the weekend before a major international exercise to address an oil spill on the North Coast took place in Prince Rupert.

Read the original story

Rapport de polaris institute sur Enbridge

Polaris Institute statement regarding Enbrige's Michigan oil spill

Posted: July 28, 2010
source info web :

The news of an Enbridge pipeline spilling 20,000 barrels (3 million litres) of crude oil from the Alberta tar sands into a tributary of Lake Michigan is disturbing, but sadly not surprising.

Enbridge has a questionable track record across Canada and United States of recurring pipeline leaks that have caused serious environmental damage and harm to workers. Between 1999 and 2008, across all of Enbridge’s operations there were 610 spills that released close to 132,000 barrels (21 million litres) of hydrocarbons into the environment. This amounts to approximately half of the oil that spilled from the Exxon Valdez after it struck a rock in Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1988.

The recent spill in Michigan is the largest spill to occur on an Enbridge pipeline in the United States in the last ten years. Enbridge’s largest spill in Canada in the same time period occurred in Alberta in 2001 when 23,900 barrels (3.8 million litres) spilled into the environment.

The Michigan spill should be wake-up call for those who would allow Enbridge to build two 1,1 70 kilometer pipelines from the Alberta tar sands to the B.C. coast. The question is not ‘if’ a catastrophic spill will occur on this route, but ‘when’.

Corporate Profile of Enbridge Inc.

Posted May 4th, 2010 by richard

New Report Exposes Enbridge Inc’s Destructive Gamble on Eve of Annual Meeting of Shareholders

*correction: on page 56 at the bottom 'Line Part 6a' should read 'Part 6b'
OTTAWA, ON – In advance of Enbridge Inc.’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders scheduled for Wednesday, May 5th, the Polaris Institute and the Indigenous Environmental Network are releasing a new corporate profile of the company. In the profile, Enbridge Inc’s dirty tar sands gamble is exposed as potentially dangerous in terms of its impacts on the environment and First Nations communities.

The new 69 page profile, Out on the Tar Sands Mainline: Mapping Enbridge’s Web of Pipelines, raises serious questions about the company’s role in relation to the tar sands industry, and especially its future plans to open up Asian markets for dirty tar sands crude via the controversial Gateway pipeline. The profile explores the social costs of this game plan on First Nations communities and the environment and how, based on its track record, Enbridge will use its political clout, revolving door mechanisms and strategic donations to First Nations communities to carry its plans forward.

“For some, Enbridge Inc. is viewed as a provider of natural gas to heat homes and businesses, and to many this company is completely unknown” explains Richard Girard, Research Coordinator of the Polaris Institute. “However, this new company profile clearly shows that below the surface Enbridge Inc. has been, and continues to be, one of the key facilitators of the growth of the entire tar sands industry.”

The profile includes specific details on: - recurring pipeline leaks that have caused environmental damage; - the ongoing expropriation of First Nations land; - widespread political lobbying and influence in Canada and the United States; - interference in local community decision-making through financial contributions and projects.

“Given Enbridge’s track record, it is not a matter of if an oil leak on First Nations land will occur, but rather when it will happen again,” states Marty Cobenais, of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Access the report here:


For more information or to arrange interviews contact: Richard Girard, Polaris Institute, 613-237-1717 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613-237-1717 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 613-237-1717 end_of_the_skype_highlighting x105,

Marty Cobenais, Indigenous Environmental Network, 218-760-0284,

About the Polaris Institute ( The Polaris Institute is a non-partisan organization engaged in research and advocacy on public policy issues.

About the Indigenous Environmental Network ( IEN is a network of Indigenous Peoples empowering Indigenous Nations and communities towards sustainable livelihoods, demanding environmental justice and maintaining the Sacred Fire of our traditions.

Fuite pétrolière : Enbridge connaissait les risques

Fuite : Enbridge avait déjà été averti à deux reprises

source info web

LESAFFAIRES.COM . les . 29-07-2010 (modifié le 29-07-2010 à 08:40)

Tags : Canada, Enbridge, Énergie, Environnement, États-Unis


Photo : Bloomberg

Enbridge avait reçu deux avertissements de la Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMS) sur les dangers de son pipeline d’où provient la fuite dans la rivière Kalamazoo au Michigan, révèle le Detroit Free Press ce matin.

En janvier, la PHMS avait indiqué à la pétrolière canadienne que son système de vérification de l’érosion à l’intérieur du pipeline était inadéquat. L’organisme fédéral a sommé Enbridge de corriger le problème sans lui imposer d’amendes.

Pour l’instant, on ne sait pas si le problème mentionné dans les rapports est à l’origine de la fuite et si Enbridge avait apporté les modifications demandées.

Les porte-parole d’Enbridge ont affirmé aux médias qu’ils investissaient «considérablement» dans la sécurité et qu’il ne connaissait pas encore la cause de la fuite.

Nombreuses fuites chez Enbridge au Canada

Une autre fuite au Manitoba plombe les résultats d’Enbridge

source info :LESAFFAIRES.COM . les . 28-07-2010

Tags : Canada, Enbridge, Environnement, Manitoba


Photo : Bloomberg

Alors qu’Enbridge doit composer avec la fuite d’un de ses oléoducs dans le Michigan, c’est une autre fuite survenue en avril au Manitoba qui a réduit le bénéfice du fonds de revenu de la pétrolière canadienne dévoilé hier.

Le bénéfice net du fond de revenu d’Enbridge est de 1,5 million au deuxième trimestre (10 cents par actions). C’est un recul de plus de 50%. Les revenus ont toutefois augmenté de 4% pour atteindre 80,3 M$.

En avril dernier, une fuite de pétrole près d’une petite ville du Manitoba a coûté 900 000 dollars à la société. Mille cinq cent litres de pétrole se sont retrouvés dans les étendues d’eau locales.

La société privée d’Enbridge a, quant à elle, rapporté aujourd’hui un bénéfice net de 138 millions (37 cents par action), soit encore un bénéfice réduit de moitié.

Avec le Calgary Herald et le Canadian Business


Enbridge : 21 millions de litres déversés en dix ans

LESAFFAIRES.COM . les . 29-07-2010 (modifié le 29-07-2010 à 09:24)

Tags : Alberta, Canada, Colombie-britannique, Enbridge, Énergie, Environnement


Photo : Bloomberg

La fuite d’un pipeline d’Enbridge au Michigan pourrait compliquer son projet de construction d’un pipeline entre l’Alberta et la Colombie-Britannique en vue d’exporter du pétrole vers l’Asie. Le projet de 1000 km est évalué à 5,5 G$.

Des militants environnementaux ont accentué la pression sur l’entreprise en organisant une manifestation coup d’éclat devant les bureaux à Vancouver.

Les militants ont cité une recherche menée par Polaris Institute, une organisation militante d'Ottawa, qui démontre qu'Enbridge était responsable de 610 fuites de pétrole de 1999 à 2008, pour un total de 21 millions de litres déversés durant cette période.

En avril dernier, une fuite de pétrole près d’une petite ville du Manitoba a coûté 900 000$ à la société. Mille cinq cents litres de pétrole se sont retrouvés dans les étendues d’eau locales.

Avec National Post, Vancouver Sun, PC et Radio-Canada Alberta

mercredi 28 juillet 2010

Trailbreaker : un déversement de 3 millions de litres au Michigan

Déversement de pétrole

Mise à jour le mercredi 28 juillet 2010 à 7 h 47

source info :

Plus de trois millions de litres de pétrole se sont répandus dans un ruisseau puis dans la rivière Kalamazoo, dans le sud du Michigan.

Photo: La Presse Canadienne /AP Photo/The Kalamazoo Gazette, Jonathon Gruenke

Des badauds viennent observer les nappes de pétrole flottant à la surface de la rivière Kalamazoo.

Plus de trois millions de litres de pétrole se sont répandus dans un ruisseau puis dans la rivière Kalamazoo, dans le sud du Michigan. Une fuite dans un oléoduc appartenant à la compagnie canadienne Enbridge s'est produite lundi matin à Marshall, près de Battle Creek.

L'oléoduc de 76 centimètres de diamètre transporte 30 millions de litres de pétrole chaque jour entre Griffith, en Indiana, et Sarnia, en Ontario. Au moins 19 500 barils de pétrole se sont déversés depuis l'incident.

Mardi, les équipes d'Enbridge ont réussi à colmater la fuite. Elles ont entrepris des tests sur l'air environnant pour s'assurer qu'on n'y trouve pas du benzène, un composé chimique cancérigène. Des tests de la nappe phréatique sont aussi prévus.

Deux maisons situées près de la fuite ont été évacuées, mais, pour le moment, on ne rapporte pas de résident incommodé physiquement. Les autorités de Battle Creek et d'Emmett Township ont tout de même prévenu leurs citoyens de la forte odeur qui pourrait se dégager du pétrole.

Des oies du Canada - bernaches - recouvertes de bitume ont été vues le long des berges de la rivière. Des poissons morts flottant à la surface du cours d'eau ont également été aperçus.

Au cours d'une conférence de presse tenue à Battle Creek, le PDG d'Enbridge, Patrick D. Daniel, a assuré que l'entreprise ferait ce qu'il faudrait pour nettoyer les dégâts et minimiser l'impact environnemental. De son côté, le président Barack Obama a promis une réponse rapide aux demandes d'aide.

La municipalité de Battle Creek et le comté de Calhoun ont déclaré l'état d'urgence local.

La cause de la fuite fait l'objet d'une enquête.

Une oie du Canada recouverte de pétrole, après un déversement dans la rivière Kalamazoo, dans le sud du Michigan.

Photo: La Presse Canadienne /AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Andre J. Jackson

Des bernaches recouvertes de pétrole ont été aperçues le long des berges de la rivières Kalamazoo. avecPresse canadienne et CBC

projet du pipeline Keystone XL en étude sérieuse aux États-Unis

EPA slows approval for Canada-Texas oil pipeline

White House could intervene as environmental security takes equal place next to energy security as concern of national interest

The EPA has slowed down the approval process of a permit for a new Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline that a few months ago looked like a shoo-in for a State Department rubber stamp by the fall.

The EPA gave the State department's draft environmental impact statement for the 2000 mile pipeline that will cut across the nation's heartland the worst rating possible, noting that if differences between the agencies can't be resolved, the matter could get referred to the White House for resolution.

In response, the State department announced yesterday it intended to add 90 days to the process of making a decision on the pipeline permit to allow the final environmental impact statement to be reviewed by other federal agencies. Observers think that means there will be no decision until sometime next year.

Last year, a similar pipeline received approval with far less scrutiny. Is environmental security rising to become a matter of primary national interest in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster?

"We're not BP, I'm not sure what that means for TransCanada," Terry Cunha, a spokesperson for the company that wants to build the pipeline said, referring to the Gulf oil disaster. "The incident that took place with BP is unfortunate, but we don't drill offshore, we're a pipeline company and we have a strong safety record."

The proposed TransCanada pipeline will carry crude from Alberta's oil sands to refineries in Texas. Known as the Keystone XL, it would increase the flow of a far more polluting form of oil from the north by 900,000 barrels a day and double US consumption.

"I think it reflects a growing recognition that Canada has mismanaged oil sands development," Simon Dyer told SolveClimate News. He is the the oilsands program director of the Pembina Institute, a Canadian sustainable energy think tank. "The U.S. EPA is an agency that is actually doing its job as compared to regulatory agencies in Canada that are not providing this kind of scrutiny."

The EPA has asked the State Department to consider the national security implications of expanding the nation's commitment to a relatively high-carbon source of oil, which EPA says has a well-to-wheels carbon footprint 82 percent larger than conventional oil.

Also of concern is what would happen if a pipeline accident caused a serious spill above the Ogallala aquifer which millions of Americans in the Midwest rely on for fresh drinking water as well as irrigation, but many other long-standing environmental impacts are also giving EPA pause.

"We don't agree with it," Cunha of TransCanada said, referring to the EPA's poor rating of the draft environmental impact statement. "We've been working with the State Department since November 2008 and we think they did a thorough and complete job."

Energy and Environmental Security on an Equal Footing
Through the lens of energy security, Canadian oil looks more attractive than oil tainted by unfriendly foreign regimes, but since April 20th, when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, the sheen of that perceived advantage has faded.

It has become painfully clear that with one environmental catastrophe, the economy and social fabric of a whole region can be destroyed as effectively as with a terrorist attack.

It puts oil thirsty Americans between Iraq and a hard place, and the search for a proper balance between energy and environmental security is now up for grabs in the inter-agency tussle.

Ask average Americans where to find the biggest and dirtiest industrial project known to man, and chances are that only a few will point to a leading contender just across the northern border in Alberta, Canada.

Alberta is ground zero of an oil bonanza booming on North American soil, where vast deposits of oil sands sitting beneath pristine boreal forests are being unearthed, causing severe and far-reaching environmental impacts.

To extract the oil from the sand requires three barrels of fresh water for every barrel of oil produced; it leaves behind toxic liquid tailings that are collected in ponds lethal enough to kill birds that land on them, which now sprawl over more than 150 square kilometers of territory; and extraction by itself produces three times more greenhouse gases than conventional oil pumped up from a well.

The yield from the messy mining process is a tarry crude that can be turned into gasoline. Even though the biggest customers are Americans in their guzzling autos, the tar sands, as they are also known, have remained largely outside popular awareness and media attention in U.S. It looks like that is starting to change.

Not worth mining at any great scale until recent decades, the inferior grade fuel has now come to provide the largest portion of oil entering the U.S. from Canada, America's largest foreign supplier since 2004. It is projected to provide 30% of US needs by 2030 -- all from a friendly, mostly English-speaking neighbor. It is a welcome prospect inside the State Department, wrestling with terror and responsible for keeping the nation supplied with oil as a matter of national interest.

Expected Rubber Stamp Now Up in the Air
At the start of the year, most observers thought approval would be rubber-stamped by the State Department, which has jurisdiction over issuing the trans-border permit for the pipeline. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not hesitate to give approval for another oil sands pipeline, known as Alberta Clipper, in August 2009, which the EPA had also reviewed more favorably. There was no reason to believe that anything would be different with the new pipeline.

The April 20th Deepwater Horizon explosion and three months of oil leaking into the Gulf has unquestionably changed the rules of engagement.

In the face of the ongoing Gulf catastrophe and under pressure from environmentalists, the State department announced in mid-June that it would extend the public comment period on the proposed pipeline by two weeks until July 2nd, and added two public hearings scheduled for this month. It will use the public input to develop a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), but the process is suddenly no longer in for smooth sailing.

First, 50 members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary Clinton urging her to carefully scrutinize the significant environmental impact of the pipeline and grabbed some headlines, unusual for the oil sands, which rarely get U.S. attention

Then in mid-July, the EPA sent the State Department a lengthy critique of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) of the Keystone XL project, and gave it the lowest possible rating -- Inadequate Information. It suggested that the matter might be worth kicking upstairs to the White House and its Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), headed by Nancy Sutley.

"As with all projects that have not addressed potentially significant impacts," the EPA letter from Cynthis Giles to the State Department said, "this proposal is a potential candidate for referral to CEQ."

Powerful Environmental Provision
According to a CEQ source, who spoke with SolveClimate News without authorization and so cannot be identified, noting the possibility of a referral to the White House is something routinely done whenever an environmental impact statement receives an adverse review, which happens only about once a year.

The process of referring a federal decision to CEQ is a long-standing but seldom used mechanism established by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. It has been used only 27 times over the last 41 years, the last time in 2001 in the first year of George W. Bush's presidency.

It is a surprisingly powerful environmental provision that allows any federal agency, concerned about the environmental effects of a proposed major federal action, to force a review by CEQ, which is a part of the executive office of the president. The CEQ source said once a matter is in their hands, "we have broad authority to do what we will with it."

Regulations describe seven possible avenues that CEQ can decide to pursue to resolve inter-agency disputes referred for resolution. CEQ can decide whether it wants to mediate the dispute, for example, hold public hearings, or publish its own findings and recommendations. If inter-agency differences are irreconcilable, as a last resort CEQ can submit the referral and its response together with its recommendation to the President for action.

The State Department must now give EPA satisfactory answers about the pipeline and resolve inter-agency differences, or EPA can formally refer the matter for review to the White House within 25 days of the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement, which the State Department is preparing.

What was particularly striking about the EPA letter is that it asked the State Department to provide a broader national security analysis of the implications of committing the nation long-term to oil from Canada, asking for an evaluation of energy security hand-in-hand with environmental security..

"What was really noteworthy was the call for a full assessment of the climate and energy implications of oil sands development, Dyer of Pembina said, "and tying those two discussions together."

EPA also wants to be sure that a wide range of specific environmental impacts are properly evaluated before approval for the pipeline is given. The transmittal letter from Cynthis Giles of EPA dated July 16 says:

The topics on which we believe additional information and analysis are necessary include the purpose and need for the project, potential greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project, air pollutant emissions at the receiving refineries, pipeline safety/spill response, potential impacts to environmental justice communities, wetlands and migratory birds.

Environmental campaigners called the EPA letter a "gamechanger" and lit up the blogosphere and opinion pages, notching an unexpected victory over industry. After years of effort to try to slow demand for tar sands oil in the U.S., campaigners are finally seeing their arguments seriously taken up at the highest levels of the federal government.

US scrutiny is sure to put pressure on both the governments of Canada and of Alberta to improve the environmental performance of the oil sands. The lengthy EPA letter to the State Department asks for answers to questions that Canadian authorities have not seriously confronted, except to sidestep them to favor industrial expansion. The EPA is in effect now starting to do a job that industry-friendly Canadian regulators have failed to do for decades.

The latest evidence of lax regulation and enforcement came in the form of a scandal which erupted earlier this month when federal politicians from the Canadian government and opposition parties mysteriouslycanceled an 18-month investigation into oil sands pollution. They also ordered draft copies of their report destroyed. Now for the first time in the U.S., Canadian efforts to greenwash the oil sands are bumping into tough talk from highly placed sources.

This month it was US Ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, who said Canada needs to demonstrate how it is meeting its obligations of environmental stewardship. Last month, it was John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress who headed the Obama transition team and is part of the president's inner circle on energy, who delivered a blunter message in a keynote speech to tar sands boosters gathered in Washington.

"Oil extraction from tar sands is polluting, destructive, expensive and energy-intensive. These things are facts. I think suggesting this process can come close to approximating being 'greened' is largely misleading, or far too optimistic, or perhaps both. It stands alongside clean coal and error-free deepwater drilling as more PR than reality."

It an abrupt departure from business-as-usual inside the corridors of power in the US. The oil Industry is also now facing further challenges in the court of public opinion, thanks to an unorthodox ad campaign in four US cities unleashed by a coalition of campaigners.

Images of dead ducks in oil sands tailings pond have been plastered on billboards in Denver, Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis. Next to them is a picture of an oil-drenched brown pelican at the site of the Deepwater Horizon spill. "Alberta: The Other Oil Disaster," the billboard reads. "Thinking of visiting Alberta, Canada? Think again," it continues. The campaign will debut in cities around the UK this week.

Historically, Americans have little cared where their oil was sourced, unless an embargo made supplies scarce or the price got too high. The War on Terror erased that form of blissful ignorance, as US soldiers took fire from enemies financed by American expenditures at the pump. Three months of oil gushing into the Gulf and another similarly unacceptable equation has now intruded on public awareness.

"The disaster in the Gulf has put the costs of oil consumption into sharp focus," Dyer said. "The world is running out of oil and neither deepwater sources of the Gulf nor oil sands in Canada provide a sustainable alternative."

Now it is up to the State Department to satisfy the EPA's serious concerns about the pipeline, as it prepares the final environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL project. The Department of Energy yesterday also questioned the core arguments for the pipeline. If the project fails to adequately protect environmental security, there's a chance EPA could refer it to CEQ for resolution, which means the decision to sign off on the permit for the pipeline could ultimately rest with the president.