Taking a Stand

This is an excerpt from friends of Pacific Wild, Mike Reid and Sarah Stoner’s blog. To view the full blog, and read a letter a day to Mr. Harper, visit http://www.dearmrharper.com

Dear Mr. Harper,


It’s been a crazy week.  With the release of the US National Transportation Safety Board report, revealing Enbridge’s lack of response and inaction to the Kalamazoo spill in Michigan two years back, the media has been in a bit of a frenzy.  Some of your colleagues in the political world have caught wind of this frenzy, and the sheer ineptness Enbridge displayed in dealing with the leak, but we have yet to hear anything from you, Mr. Harper.

The report reveals that Enbridge pipe operators failed to acknowledge the constant drop of pressure in the pipeline to be caused by a leak and instead chose to increase the volume of oil being pumped through in an effort to keep up the pressure.  After 17 hours, the leak was reported by an employee in Michigan, not one of the operators choosing to throw in the towel and recognize all the alarm bells going off in front of him.

As a result, 3.8 million litres of crude spilled into the Kalamazoo River causing the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

Since the release of this report, we’ve seen action and clear stances being taken by your colleagues, our elected officials, in opposition of this pipeline.  Thomas Mulcair declared that the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project be stopped and referred to the NTSB report as “the final nail” in the proposed projects’ coffin.  Even the fence-sitting Christy Clark said that if Enbridge plans to operate in BC the way it did in Michigan, then they can “forget it”.

And here’s the thing, Mr. Harper… it all comes down to human error.  No matter how state of the art Enbridge’s pipeline technology has become in the last few years, nothing can make up for the fact that 3.8 million litres of crude were spilt as a result of human laziness and incompetence.

We can’t let that be our fate.  This place is too special.

For the coast,

Sarah and Mike

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