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‘It won’t happen here’ is the likely Conservative defence for Northern Gateway pipeline

The Conservative government can’t be liking this US preliminary report too much on the Enbridge oil spill in Michigan:

Enbridge “employees performed like Keystone Kops” in addressing the spill, demonstrating “a culture of deviance,” whereby staff felt they could freely ignore company procedures and protocols. So lame was Enbridge’s response plan that staff allowed the spill to continue unabated for 17 hours, through three employee shifts. This, despite multiple alarms and a loss of pressure in the pipeline. Staff attempted two startups of the line after the oil spill had begun, pumping in yet more oil. This, of course, resulted in greater spill damage. The cause of the pipeline’s rupture was identified as corrosion. The company had detected the relevant pipeline cracks back in 2005, but never repaired them.

When I say the Conservative government won’t like this report – it won’t be because of Enbridge’s serious flaws in operating this pipeline, as they propose to run the Northern Gateway through pristine wilderness in BC; it will be because they know how much bad publicity like this puts a serious dent into their PR machine trying to convince everyone in Canada how this is the greatest thing since sliced bread.


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