Tag Archives: Transcanada
By Amber Hildebrandt, February 4, 2014. Source: CBC News
A CBC News investigation has unearthed a critical report that the federal regulator effectively buried for several years about a rupture on a trouble-prone TransCanada natural gas pipeline.
On July 20, 2009, the Peace River Mainline in northern Alberta exploded, sending 50-metre-tall flames into the air and razing a two-hectare wooded area.
Members of Dene Tha’ First Nations community of Chateh, about 50 kilometres away from the site of the blast, also want to know why the report was not released until now. (Courtesy of Dene Tha’ First Nation)
Few people ever learned of the rupture — one of the largest in the past decade — other than the Dene Tha’ First Nation, whose traditional territory it happened on. Continue reading
Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK radio for a weekly Earth Minute and Earth Watch interview.
Note: From GJEP Board member Clayton Thomas-Muller about the explosion and the growing resistance to the tar sands:
I am Back home in Capitol City after a trip to Toronto to meet with campaigners from Defenders of the Land and Idle No More and the emerging Energy east Campaign. I wanted to express that we are in a wave of reaction from our foes in the Energy & Extractive Industry Sectors and from the right wing media and Canadian Government. You will see many attempts on both sides of the border to discredit the incredible resiliency of our Indigenous Peoples and our powerful Indigenous Social movement rising with other social movements across the island. They will attempt to use systemic mechanisms built on race, class and gender divisions but make no mistake, we got them on the run. Read the rest of his facebook post here
BY KILEY KROH, JANUARY 26, 2014 Source: ThinkProgress.org
CREDIT: YOUTUBE/ROBERTO GOMEZ
A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.
“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Watch a video of the explosion here:
There were no injuries and the area was evacuated as a precaution, according to the National Energy Board. TransCanada said the fire was extinguished by Saturday afternoon, more than 12 hours after it started, but in order to repair the line, they shut off the natural gas supply to several municipalities.
Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius overnight.
Niverville Deputy Mayor John Funk said that “service is expected to be lost for minimum of 24 hours to multiple days” in a statement on the town’s website. Funk also said that “Manitoba Hydro is asking residents to turn down thermostats and minimize use of electric heaters.”
By Jenny Uechi, January 6, 2014. Source: Vancouver Observer
Moments after Prime Minister Stephen Harper took the stage at the Vancouver Board of Trade event downtown, Shit Harper Did activist Sean Devlin and another protester, Shireen Soofi, from No One is Illegal, appeared holding black and white signs reading “Climate Justice Now” and ”The Conservatives Take Climate Change Seriously”.
Onlookers gasped in shock as security stormed up and threw the protesters down from the stage, then violently pushed them through a black curtain behind the stage from where the prime minister entered.
“I just had on black clothes and an apron that I picked up from Value Village,” Devlin said, when asked how he and Soofi managed to get into the room. “I was arrested with mischief, but then they let me go. No charges…but it felt like we were supposed to be there. We were supposed to be there.”
“They weren’t wearing a lanyard issued by the Board. They appeared to be dressed as serving staff. We had no idea they were there,” said Vancouver Board of Trade CEO and President Iain Black, who asked Harper questions about the Canadian economy and environment at a Q&A event at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel.
By Peter Moskowitz, December 29, 2013. Source: Al Jazeera America
Scientists have found a nearly 7,500-square-mile ring of land and water contaminated by mercury surrounding the tar sands in Alberta, where energy companies are producing and shipping oil throughout Canada and the U.S.
Government scientists are preparing to publish a report that found levels of mercury are up to 16 times higher around the tar sand operations, principally due to the excavation and transportation of the bitumen in the sands by oil and gas companies, according to Postmedia-owned Canadian newspapers like the Vancouver Sun.
Environment Canada researcher Jane Kirk recently presented the findings at a toxicology conference in Nashville.
The revelations add to a growing concern over the environmental impacts of the tar sands. Many environmentalists charge that the exploitation of the sands for oil will lead to an increase in carbon emissions, the destruction and contamination of land and water and health problems for Canadians. The debate over the tar sands crossed over into the United States when energy company TransCanada proposed building the Keystone XL pipeline to transport the crude oil to the southeastern U.S. for refining and distribution.
Note: This article undermines the inherent problems with so much energy and resources devoted to stopping just one pipeline project (Keystone XL), while dozens, if not hundreds, of other pipelines and rail projects across the continent allow tar sands oil to flow to refineries.
-The GJEP Team
By Steve Horn, December 18, 2013. Source: DeSmog Blog
Only Barack Obama knows the fate of the northern half of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. But in the meantime, TransCanada is preparing thesouthern half of the line to open forcommercial operations on January 22.
Yet, there’s a fork in this controversial pipeline system that has largely flown under the radar: TransCanada’s Houston Lateral Pipeline, which serves as a literal fork in the road of the southern half of Keystone XL’s route to Gulf Coast refineries.
Rebranded the “Gulf Coast Pipeline” by TransCanada, the 485-mile southern half of Keystone XL brings a blend of Alberta’s tar sands crude, along with oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin, to refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. This area has been coined a “sacrifice zone” by investigative journalist Ted Genoways, describing the impacts on local communities as the tar sands crude is refined mainly for export markets.
But not all tar sands and fracked oil roads lead to Port Arthur. That’s where the Houston Lateral comes into play. A pipeline oriented westward from Liberty County, TX rather than eastward to Port Arthur, Houston Lateral ushers crude oil toHouston’s refinery row.
By Naomi Klein, September 3, 2013. Source: Naomi Klein
Naomi delivered the following speech on September 1, 2013 at the founding convention of UNIFOR, a new mega union created by the Canadian Autoworkers and the Canadian Energy and Paper Workers Union.
The energy in this room – and the hope the founding of this new union has inspired across the country – is contagious.
It feels like this could be the beginning of the fight back we have all been waiting for, the one that will chase Harper from power and restore the power of working people in Canada.
So welcome to the world UNIFOR.
A lot of your media coverage so far has focused on how big UNIFOR is – the biggest private sector union in Canada. And when you are facing as many attacks as workers are in this country, being big can be very helpful. But big is not a victory in itself.
The victory comes when this giant platform you have just created becomes a place to think big, to dream big, to make big demands and take big actions. The kind of actions that will shift the public imagination and change our sense of what is possible.
By Cole Stangler, August 22, 2013. Source: In These Times
North American energy companies are planning to use drones to monitor their pipelines—in part to check for potential gas or oil leaks, but also to limit “third-party intrusions,” a broad range of activity that includes anything from unwanted vehicles entering restricted areas around pipelines to environmental activists.
The Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI), a multi-national organization funded by some of the world’s largest pipeline operators like BP, Shell, TransCanada and Enbridge, is leading efforts to research and develop unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology for pipeline monitoring. The PRCI has been working with the American Petroleum Institute and the Interstate Natural Gas Association on drone research for the last two years, according to PRCI President Cliff Johnson. He says researchers are currently running test flights.
“It could be a more efficient and more cost-effective tool … than a manned system,” Johnson says.
Today, companies often rely on piloted aircraft for pipeline monitoring. That involves surveillance of the pipeline’s “right of way,” a strip of land surrounding the pipeline whose rights are typically shared by pipeline operators and landowners. In the right of way, which can range from about 25 to 125 feet, companies check for unauthorized vehicles, people and anything else that’s not supposed to be there. Meanwhile, companies engage in additional environmental monitoring to check for potential threats to the integrity of the pipeline, such as leakage.
Note:The below article highlights several important ongoing struggles across the country, working to stop oil and gas pipelines.
It also underscores how monolithic organizing strategies – those which try to capture energy from across the country to stop one particular project, utilizing expensive and symbolic ‘civil disobedience’ and regular national days of ‘action’ – can allow less controversial, but equally dangerous, projects to slip through the cracks.
Thankfully, many of these lesser known projects are already facing grassroots opposition. As energy giants like Enbridge and Transcanada look to the northeastern US and the Canadian Maritime provinces as an energy corridor to serve domestic and overseas markets, organizers on both sides of the colonial border are joining forces to stop these projects dead in their tracks.
And as national networks are being forged in the heat of summer, organizers from across the continent are exploring new forms of solidarity and support to allow effective resistance to flourish.
-The GJEP Team
By Kiley Kroh, August 16, 2013. Source: ThinkProgress
While the national debate remains largely focused on President Obama’s impending decision regarding the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, communities across the U.S. and Canada are grappling with the oil and gas industry’s rapidly expanding pipeline network — cutting through their backyards, threatening water supplies, and leaving them vulnerable to devastating spills.
As production booms in Alberta’s tar sands and fracking opens up vast oil and natural gas deposits around America, companies are increasingly desperate for new pipelines to get their product to market. “We’ve so narrowly focused on Keystone that a lot of these other projects aren’t getting the scrutiny they probably need,” said Carl Weimer, executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust. He explains that as production skyrockets and companies look to cash in, no one is really in charge of it all. “We’re leaving it up to these individual companies to come up with their own solutions to figure out how to move energy and we don’t have any national policy guiding those decisions.”
According to a recent analysis of federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration data, since 1986 there have been nearly 8,000 incidents, resulting in more than 500 deaths, more than 2,300 injuries, and nearly $7 billion in damage.