Meet Enbridge Inc., a Canadian tar sands energy company infamously known for “the largest inland oil pipeline spill in US history” (1). Back in July 2010 an Enbridge pipeline rupture resulted in over a million gallons of tar sands oil spilling which made its way to the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. Two years later our friends and communities in Michigan are still reeling from the disaster, and the river is still not cleaned.
Dear readers, let’s really meet Enbridge Inc., because they’re trying to screw us over again, this time in the U.S. Northeast. Enbridge has announced the revival of a previous plan to transport tar sands oil through the Northeast, a project called Trailbreaker, which would pass through “some of the most important natural and cultural landscapes in eastern Canada and Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine” (2). They’re breaking it into phases so we don’t notice it coming, but we’re definitely keeping an eye on it.
Enbridge plans to use existing crude oil pipeline infrastructure, which has been in use since 1975, to pump tar sands to the east coast for export. Enbridge is also trying to evade a meaningful environmental review process by breaking the project into phases.
Thankfully, environmental organizations in the Northeast and Canada are fighting back. They are pushing to bring attention to the issues and calling for an environmental review of Enbridge’s dangerous project. This week, they are organizing a series of “Tar Sands Free Northeast” demonstrations across the Northeast culminating in a massive demonstration this Saturday, January 26th in Portland, Maine. Get involved! Check out http://www.tarsandsfreene.org and http://350newengland.org/ for info.
Tar Sands Blockade stands in solidarity with all struggles against environmental exploitation for corporate profit at the expense of communities that don’t want to be a party to ecocide. We see the struggles against tar sands export in other places as part of our own and realize that corporations are seeking any and all coastal outlets for access to global markets, whether through Houston or Port Arthur in Texas, Portland, Maine in the Northeast, British Columbia on the Pacific coast, or anywhere else. The more we try to stop them, the harder they have to look for alternatives for their toxic tar sands markets, and so we see the fight against Keystone XL and the fight against Trailbreaker to be very much the same fight.