Greens refused to play political games in by-elections

Green Party leader Mike Schreiner expressed strong opposition to Enbridge’s Line 9B in a letter to the National Energy Board (NEB) yesterday.

“Enbridge’s Line 9 proposal presents Ontario with significant risks while providing the province with no benefits,” says Schreiner. “Being a corridor for dirty energy provides no clear economic benefits for Ontario and it will hurt the province’s efforts to create jobs and capitalize on local clean energy opportunities.”

The Green Party is particularly concerned with Enbridge’s proposal to ship dilbit–raw tar sands bitumen mixed with undisclosed chemicals–through a 38-year-old pipeline not designed to handle such corrosive material. Enbridge’s Line 9 runs between Sarnia and Montreal under every major river in Southern Ontario and under prime farmland, sensitive ecosystems and populated urban areas.

US studies show that pipelines shipping dilbit are more likely to spill because it is much more corrosive than light crude. Tar sands oil is also harder and more expensive to clean up. Clean up of the Enbridge Line 6B dilbit spill in Michigan is still not complete after three years and almost $800 million in cost.

“Line 9 threatens our health, safety and environment with a mix of toxic chemicals,” says Schreiner. “Unless we are trying to develop expertise in dilbit spill clean up, Line 9 provides no economic benefits to Ontario.”

Community health officials in Michigan showed that 58 percent of local residents suffered from adverse health effects, most commonly headaches, respiratory problems and nausea following the Enbridge Line 6B spill.

“We have a responsibility to protect Ontario’s water, environment, economy and communities,” says Schreiner. “The NEB should say ‘no’ to Line 9.”