Liberals fail to take action to protect B.C. coast as new spills highlight risk of Enbridge pipeline

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VICTORIA – As the Joint Review Panel hearings into the proposed Enbridge pipeline wrap up, two spills in Alberta are highlighting why the proposed pipeline is too risky for our coast and our economy, say New Democrats.

“The risks that come with this pipeline are simply too great,” said New Democrat environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert. “Yet the B.C. Liberal government has refused to take real action to stop this risky pipeline from going through.

“Spills are inevitable and can have devastating effects on our pristine land and water. Just look at what’s happening in Northern Alberta.”

Chandra Herbert pointed out that two companies are dealing with two separate oil spills in northern Alberta. One is a pipeline operated by Pennwest Exploration which leaked 5,000 litres of oil, the other is Enbridge.

On Saturday, Enbridge estimated 750 barrels of light synthetic crude oil had spilled into a nearby stream and lake. The leak was from a newer pipeline, and Enbridge said they thought it might have been caused by heavy rain.

Chandra Herbert said that despite their submission to the panel opposing the pipeline, the Liberals have failed to take the action needed to gain provincial control of the review process, and have left the door open for support in the future.

“Premier Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals have left B.C. without a voice at the table in a decision that could dramatically affect our future, and have left us vulnerable to a federal government that could still ram this project through,” said Chandra Herbert.

The Liberal government has failed to stand up for B.C., and has made it clear this province’s environment is up for sale for the right price. B.C.’s New Democrats have clearly stated that the Enbridge proposal is not worth the risk to B.C.’s future, and that some things – like a clean environment – are too valuable to sell.