Press ReleaseJul 30, 2012
Markey: Michigan Enbridge Canadian Pipeline Incident Means More Canadian Oil Spilled on American SoilIssues: BP Oil Spill
Expanded Canadian Pipelines Will Bring More Risk, Says Lawmaker; Enbridge Becoming "BP of the Midwest"
WASHINGTON (July 28, 2012) -- Another pipeline from Canada has spilled oil in the upper Midwest United States, calling into question the ability of pipeline companies and systems to safely deliver oil from Canada to the United States, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said today. The latest spill is in Wisconsin, where more than 1,000 barrels is estimated to have leaked from a pipeline operated by Enbridge.
The spill comes nearly two years to the day following a spill by Enbridge in Michigan that was handled poorly, resulting in a damaging spill to the Kalamazoo RIver. Rep. Markey held a hearing on the Kalamazoo spill shortly after it took place, raising concerns the companies' actions that were later substantiated by federal pipeline safety regulators.
Canada has been in the process of expanding oil production from so-called "tar sands", which is more corrosive and poses greater risks to pipelines. While Enbridge is reporting that this spill is light crude, the company reported similar facts during the spill in Michigan two years ago. The oil ended up being tar sands, which is harder to clean from the environment.
Below is the statement of Rep. Ed Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee:
“Once again, Canadian oil has been spilled on American soil, calling into question the ability of pipeline companies to safely deliver increasingly corrosive oil from Canada to the United States.
"Enbridge is fast becoming to the Midwest what BP was to the Gulf of Mexico, posing troubling risks to the environment. The company must be forthcoming about this entire incident, and deserves a top-to-bottom review of their safety culture, procedures and standards.
“This incident renews the debate over whether the pipelines that deliver oil from Canada to the United States can operate safely, and whether expanding the transfer of the dirtiest oil from our neighbor to the North through the so-called Keystone XL pipeline poses more risks than gains, especially when much of that oil is set to be exported to foreign markets.”