Lest you get too caught up in Keystone XL and forget that tar-sands oil is super-destructive in general, NRDC has a new report about how a completely different pipeline will also lead to ecological disaster. The Northern Gateway pipeline, which would run from Alberta to British Columbia, has the potential to be just as destructive to Canada as Keystone XL would be to the U.S., if not more.
Northern Gateway would threaten people and animals along its 2,200-mile length — First Nations communities, people who depend on fisheries and forests, salmon, bears, whales, rainforests. You know, just most of the flora and fauna and humanity over a 2,200-mile stretch, no biggie. And according to NRDC, it's not even clear the pipeline is necessary. Enbridge, the company building Northern Gateway, has failed to show that there's adequate demand justifying the pipeline, or to explore alternatives.
One of the reasons tar-sands pipelines are such a nightmare is that tar-sands oil, or bitumen, can actually weaken the pipeline itself, says NRDC. The spills are also particularly hazardous, difficult to clean up, and difficult to prevent, not that Canadian safety regulations are adequate anyway. It's all a disaster waiting to happen, basically, and yet people keep proposing more pipelines.
Pipeline and Tanker Trouble, NRDC.