Canada questions Enbridge's record

Jan. 13, 2012 at 10:11 AM

OTTAWA, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Canadians are debating a major oil pipeline planned by energy company Enbridge, which was tied by U.S. government records to more than 150 pipeline leaks.

U.S. government records show subsidiaries of pipeline company Enbridge were tied to 175 pipeline leaks in the United States since 2002. Many of the accidents, said Canadian newspaper The Ottawa Citizen, were recorded as both major and minor incidents.

The company, the newspaper said, was tied to a 2007 leak in Minnesota that left two workers dead. The company is still cleaning up a spill of Alberta crude in southern Michigan, where a pipeline ruptured in 2010. Enbridge this week, meanwhile, said it was investigating a potential leak from a natural gas pipeline off the Louisiana coast.

"The great majority of the incidents occurred in the American Midwest, around the Great Lakes and close to the Canadian border," the Canadian newspaper states.

The revelation comes as the Canadian government hears concerns about plans by Enbridge to build the Northern Gateway pipeline to carry crude oil from tar sands projects in Alberta to the country's west coast for exports to Asia.

Hearings this week over plans to build the pipeline grew heated after a minister seemed to suggest environmental advocates were radicals.

The planned pipeline would carry as much as 500,000 barrels of tar sands oil.

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