Line 9 Pipeline - It's Them Or Us!
Nine million people living in Ontario and Quebec probably have no idea that a massive oil pipeline runs within 50 kms of their home. Millions more probably don’t know that a new proposal dramatically increases the possibility of this pipeline leaking and contaminating their communities and drinking water.
Tar sands oil is full of sediments that need corrosive chemicals and extreme temperature and pressure to move it. This makes it more susceptible to spills. In 2006 Exxon switched from light to heavy crude oil for its Pegasus pipeline which caused the recent spill of 190,000 barrels in Mayflower, Arkansas. (Lots of press coverage about this right now)
In 2010 a different Enbridge pipeline, Line 6b, leaked 20,000 barrels of heavy crude into the Kalamazoo River -- a clean-up that is still going on and has already cost over $765 million. The government and oil companies say the change to Line 9 will create jobs, but the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says at best it will create 108 jobs per year in Ontario, and about 66 in Quebec. Putting our environment at risk for the sake of fewer than 200 jobs?
So what is this really about, then? It is about the oil corporations making bigger profits at our expense, that’s what it’s about. They don’t give a damn about the environment. About the air we breathe, or the water we drink.
They don’t give a damn about a child going to school hungry, about the rising poverty rate, about the hundreds of thousands forced to work at minimum wage. They care about their CEOs pulling in millions of dollars a year in executive fees. If they cared about us they’d stop sitting on their billions of dollars of profits (much of which they’ve hidden in off shore accounts) and put it to use. But that’s not their intention. So they come up with something called Pipeline 9 (knowing it’s potentially disastrous for the environment), get the government to back it and watch while we do nothing.
It’s them or us. That’s why we have to move on this. Talk it up with a neighbour. Raise the subject at a community meeting. Send a note or email to our MP. And above all start shouting about it in the streets.