Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. plans to pump 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) of one of the planet’s dirtiest sources of oil through North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, endangering our water, health, and climate. Expanding the Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline would put federal, state, and tribal lands and waters at risk of devastating oil spills, including the Great Lakes and Anishinaabe/Ojibwe ceded territories. Communities and Native Nations across the Great Lakes region and beyond are fighting this unnecessary and dangerous pipeline expansion, calling instead for clean, renewable energy solutions and a 100% clean energy future.
PIPELINE RISKS tO COmmuNItIES AND thE ENvIRONmENt Communities near the pipeline and anyone with a stake in a clean and healthy environment have cause to be concerned about plans to double the Alberta Clipper’s capacity. Enbridge has a disgraceful history of spills. From 1999 to 2010, Enbridge was responsible for more than 800 spills that released 6.8 million gallons of hydrocarbons into the land, water, and atmosphere.14 Enbridge is responsible for three of the fifteen largest onshore oil spills in U.S. history.15 In January 2014, the company had to shut down the Alberta Clipper after a 5,250-gallon spill at a pumping station.16 Canada’s National Energy Board found that at 93% of the company’s pumping stations, Enbridge is not complying with emergency shutdown safety standards that have been in place since the 1990s.17 The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has fined Enbridge repeatedly for safety violations, including a record $2.4 million fine18 in connection with an explosion that killed two workers near the Enbridge terminal and tank farm in Clearbrook, Minnesota. Citing the company’s pattern of failures and accidents, PHMSA has issued a rare, system-wide Corrective Action Order for Enbridge’s Lakehead System,19 which remains active even as Enbridge seeks to double its tar sands volume.
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