Vancouver, British Columbia – Greenpeace activists occupied an Enbridge office in Vancouver for over 24 hours, protesting a planned pipeline that will run from Alberta’s tar sands to Kitimat in the Great Bear Rainforest in northern British Columbia.
The twin Northern Gateway Pipeline would run 1,170 kilometres from Alberta to B.C.
The protest began at 10 a.m. on Wednesday when four activists entered Enbridge’s office and wrote “B.C. next?” on the glass doors with tar balls collected from the Gulf of Mexico, and then locked themselves down. At 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, police entered the office and cut the activists’ chains. The protesters spent the night in jail and were charged with mischief.
Outside the office tower, Greenpeace built a mock pipeline over a truck and spilled oil onto a large image representing the rain forest, while a “cleanup crew” warned people about the dangers of the project.
“Our mock oil spill took 30 minutes to clean up,” said Stephanie Goodwin, Greenpeace B.C. director. “Unfortunately, a real oil spill is never this easy to manage. More than three months after the disaster in the Gulf, BP is still trying to clean up its mess. Just three days ago, Enbridge added to its toxic legacy with yet another spill with more than three million litres of crude oil leaking into a creek leading to the Kalamazoo River in southwest Michigan. Greenpeace, other environmental organizations and Coast First Nations will not allow a similar Enbridge spill to destroy our coast.”
Greenpeace said that the Canadian government is considering Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipelines proposal, which would bring more than 200 crude oil tankers annually through treacherous shipping lanes. Pipeline company Kinder Morgan also has a long-term plan to expand its oil pipeline capacity to its southern port in Burnaby, more than doubling its current oil tanker traffic through the Georgia Strait.