EDMONTON – Three pipeline spills in Alberta this spring have many people wondering whether there are better ways to move the petroleum products that are the lifeblood of Alberta’s economy.

The oil industry’s reliance on pipelines — which organizations such as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Canadian Energy Pipelines Association say are the safest way to transport products— have companies like TransCanada and Enbridge proposing to expand their lines to carry Alberta bitumen to refineries in Texas and tankers at Kitimat, B.C., for shipment to Asia and its hungry economy.

Read the rest

Disorganized control room to blame for Enbridge U.S. pipeline spill: records

OTTAWA — A disorganized control room and bullying of inexperienced staff are allegedly to blame for a three-million litre oil spill in a Michigan River from a pipeline operated by Alberta-based Enbridge, says newly released records among hundreds of pages of evidence from a U.S. government investigation.

The evidence includes testimony from a senior Enbridge employee who suggests the energy company, now promoting new projects in Canada such as the multibillion dollar Northern Gateway pipeline from Edmonton to the British Columbia coast, is years away from achieving “world-class” safety standards.

Read the rest