Monday, December 22nd0.2°C
24124
24564

CN derails pipelines with crude by rail

Opponents of the Northern Gateway pipeline are threatening to turn their sights on CN Rail, as at least one Alberta oil company explores the possibility of transporting oil sands crude to the B.C. coast by rail car.

Sixteen environmental groups signed a letter sent to Canadian National CEO Claude Mongeau this week to express opposition to any plans to ship product from the Alberta oil sands west by rail.

"Unfortunately, ... there are far greater fatality, injury and environmental risks when transporting crude oil by rail than by pipeline," the letter said.

"Should CN decide to try to move forward with its proposal, it would face major opposition and risks to the company. We urge you to stop any forward movement with shipping tar sands oil by rail through British Columbia."

It cites a study last year by the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning American think tank that has endorsed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast after comparing the safety and accident statistics of rail, road and pipelines.

Mark Hallman, director of communications for CN Rail, said railways have a solid record in transporting hazardous materials.

"Rail complements pipeline in the movement of crude oil. Both modes are safe and the risk of accidental releases of product is extremely low for both modes of transport, with no appreciable difference considering both spill frequency and size," Hallman said.

The groups, including Greenpeace Canada, West Coast Environmental Law and Sierra Club of BC, cite two 2005 train derailments.

On Aug. 3, 2005, a train derailed west of Edmonton and spilled 800,000 litres of bunker oil and wood preservative into Wabamun Lake. The spill killed birds and fish, polluted the shoreline and forced authorities to truck drinking water into the area for 18 months. Two days later, on Aug. 5, 2005, a derailment near Squamish spilled 40,000 litres of caustic soda into the Cheakamus River, killing half a million fish.

CN pleaded guilty in 2009 to violating federal laws protecting fish and migratory birds and failing to properly remediate a spill, and agreed to pay $1.8 million for both incidents.

An official with the Port of Prince Rupert confirmed that it has had "very preliminary" talks with Nexen Inc., (TSX:NXY) about using trains to bring oil from Alberta to the north coast port city. Discussions began over a year ago, Michael Gurney, manager of corporate communications for the Prince Rupert Port Authority, said Thursday.

"We really want to emphasize that this has not yet even evolved into a project. This is a concept that they are exploring at the port authority," Gurney said.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24387


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14447.19-21.069
S&P CDNX672.16-4.38
DJIA17901.0096.20
Nasdaq4765.684+0.304
S&P 5002070.47-0.18
CDN Dollar0.8589-0.0028
Gold1189.40-6.50
Oil56.50+2.39
Lumber337.70-0.30
Natural Gas3.169-0.295

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.125+0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.21-0.04
Cantex0.03-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.1712-0.0014
Metalex Ventures0.05-0.005
Russel Metals25.17-0.41
Copper Mountain Mining1.57+0.02
Colorado Resources0.11-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.011-0.0089
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02-0.03
Mission Ready Services0.23+0.015

 
23744


24605

FEATURED Property
2122842211-770 Rutland Rd.
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$189,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


First-time homebuyer mistakes

If you’re on the hunt for your first home and want to have a smooth and successful home purchasing experience avoid these common first-time homebuying mistakes.If you are looking for your first ...


My final thoughts on real estate

This will be the last column I write on real estate. Largely because at the end of the year I will be handing in my license. After 20+ years of working in land development, resort development and rea...


Reflecting on the end of the year

The importance of the end of the year and the Christmas holidays is profound. It is a time to reconnect with family and traditions that have made us who we are. But the year-end has always been a time...

_



24111

24586


Member of BC Press Council


24409