Enbridge reputation questioned in Canada

Aug. 13, 2012 at 8:51 AM
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TORONTO, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. report on a 2010 oil spill by Enbridge hasn't been submitted as evidence to a Canadian panel examining the company's pipeline plans, an analyst said.

Enbridge aims to build its Northern Gateway oil pipeline to a port in British Columbia to gain access to Asian markets.

Canadian independent economist Robyn Allan told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that Enbridge hasn't offered "any information" about a 2010 oil spill in Michigan to authorities examining the prospects for Northern Gateway.

About 20,000 barrels of crude oil spilled near Kalamazoo, Mich., in 2010 from the Lakehead oil pipeline system, operated by Enbridge. A report from the U.S. government found Enbridge knew of defects on the pipeline years before the incident but downplayed the severity of the issue.

"So far, it's as if Kalamazoo never happened," said Allan.

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, speaking in the CBC program "The House," said he couldn't comment on the particulars of the U.S. report on the Michigan oil spill.

"It's inappropriate and it's also a slippery slope," he said. "I think it's up to the National Energy Board, to the chair who oversees it, and to the panel to make these decisions."

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