Late NDP leader Jack Layton warned of risk of oil spills from Northern Gateway pipeline

Calling Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline “a monster”, late NDP leader Jack Layton foresaw the potential hazards of a pipeline rupture.

Now, U.S. regulators claim one of Enbridge’s pipelines off the Louisiana coast may have a leak. This latest news coincides with the first day of hearings into the controversial pipeline that will cross northern B.C. if built.

“Anyone thinking that’s a good idea should recognize two facts,” Layton told the Straight in June 2010. “One, there is a pipeline break somewhere in Alberta, on average, twice every day. Secondly, turn on CNN and look at the broken pipeline fire in Texas right now and ask yourself, ‘Do we want this in the Rockies?’ This will happen.”

The idea of taking raw bitumen and putting it in an 1,170-kilometre-long pipeline over the Rockies to Kitimat, and then putting it in supertankers to go down through the Hecate Strait and some of the most beautiful and treacherous waters imaginable is pure insanity, according to the popular former leader of the Opposition, who passed away of cancer last year.

“There would be 11,000 of these tanker trips in the 50-year life of the pipeline, and there can be no mistake, no human error, no equipment failure, no weather that can’t be coped with, no radar that isn’t working properly,” Layton said. “Not even once on any one of those trips of those 11,000 tankers, otherwise we’ll have another catastrophe. Anybody who thinks that that’s not a likelihood ought to have their head read....With what’s unfolding in the Gulf, surely we’re going to be going down that path [with Enbridge].”

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terry noble
What are we going to do with no oil? Can you imagine life with no cars, planes, pollution, or heat?
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