Pipeline Companies No Longer Feeling the Love

August 27, 2015

Great video above as we watch Chevron reps set a new standard for white guy cluelessness in offering bottled water to Indigenous folks while standing next to the pristine river they want to pollute.  Also they offered them tobacco.  I read somewhere those savages love the tobacco. Presumably, somebody’s intern stripped the paper off a carton’s worth of Marlboros..

Daily Kos:

No, this is not the 17th century: Chevron engineers, looking to frack billions of cubic feet of gas from indigenous Unist’ot’en territory in British Columbia, did indeed try to get past the tribe’s roadblock a few weeks ago. Trying to keep out oil and gas pipelines from deep within their unceded traditional territories, the Unist’ot’en’s concerns about the wholesale destruction of their sacred lands were met with generous offerings of bottled water and industrial tobacco.(above)

Yesterday Chevron, the company behind the Pacific Trails fracking pipeline, attempted to enter our unceded territories. They have no consent from our chiefs and our hereditary governance system, who are standing strong in their stance against all pipelines. Next to the Wedzin Kwah river, which is pure enough to drink from, Chevron presented us with an offering of bottled water and industrial tobacco.

But hey, who would care about clean river water when you can just drink water from bottles made with the oil that’s going to be sucked out of your ground? Here, have a Camel!

Everyone in the U.S. knows about the Keystone XL pipeline, and there’s been a lot of attention given to its harmfulness on all fronts. However, Keystone is far from being the only battle to be waged in the fight against the greedy fossil fuel industry and their determination to fry the planet.

For a little perspective, here’s the scope of the Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) that they want to run through Unist’ot’en territory.

The Pacific Trail Pipeline (PTP) is a $1.23 billion project that falsely hopes to link co-owners Apache and Chevron’s fracking operations in the Liard Basin and Horn River Basin with their proposed LNG processing plant in Kitimat. If completed, the pipeline would be able to transport 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

Totalling 473km in length, the pipeline would run from Summit Lake (where it would connect with the existing Spectra Energy pipeline) to Kitimat. The current proposed path for the pipeline has it passing directly through the Unist’ot’en territory of Talbits Kwa.

Apache and Chevron are both among the top polluting companies in the world, ranking 5th and 18th overall among oil&gas companies based on total reserves. Both companies are known for environmental atrocities where they operate.

Meanwhile, in my neck of the woods, pipeline company Enbridge is working hard to reassure the Great Lakes states that they are responsible stewards of a 60 year old pipeline that, until recently, very few people knew existed..

It’s a tall order, even when the audience is normally docile, gullible (mostly) white people. Enbridge was responsible for the largest inland oil spill in history in the nearby Kalamazoo River.  Wikipedia describes the event thusly:

Though alarms sounded in Enbridge’s Edmonton headquarters at the time of the rupture, it was eighteen hours before a Michigan utilities employee reported oil spilling and the pipeline company learned of the spill. Meanwhile, pipeline operators had thought the alarms were maybe caused by a bubble in the pipeline and, while for some time it was shut down, they also increased pressure for periods of hours to try to clear the possible blockage, spilling more oil.

In the case of Line 5, which crosses the Straits of Mackinaw, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron intersect, the stakes are much, much higher.   If you haven’t been to the area, you should know that the water up there is nearly pristine.  Not far to the east,  the St Mary’s River brings crystalline water from Lake Superior down into the lower lakes, making these northern waters famously pure, cold, and clear.  They are a global treasure – and highly vulnerable to a spill.

As the video below shows, even my old high school buddy, Attorney General Bill Schuette, known more for political ambition than sensitive tree hugging, has been making some (very welcome) tough statements about the pipeline’s future.


7 Responses to “Pipeline Companies No Longer Feeling the Love”

  1. petermogensen Says:


  2. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    What an insult. What were they thinking?
    Raises a new level of disgust and contempt for a one-track minded industry that should be managing its decline and transforming into renewables.

  3. cafegenevieve Says:

    Tobacco for the indians? Really? Maybe some Jim Beam?

  4. This has to be a set-up. Surely those guys couldn’t be that clueless – could they?

  5. When I read the article I thought they just happened to have some water with them and offered them a drink but they’ve actually offered it up like ‘white man gives you shiny beads for all your land’.

  6. indy222 Says:

    I had thought Big Oil was Evil, and Smart. I may have to revise. What an utter embarrassment. I hope this video and Daily Kos post dogs Big Oil for years to come.

  7. dumboldguy Says:

    At least their cluelessness didn’t extend to offering firewater, sharp-edged tools, and guns to the “savages”. If they had, they might not have escaped with their scalps or lives.

    We are too wrapped up in Keystone XL, and not paying enough attention to the SOB’s who are busily building processing plants and pipelines to move fossil fuels to the east and west coasts in Canada. Harper and friends want to export large quantities of tar sands oil, coal, and LNG to the world, and if it weren’t for the few “savages” and environmental activists standing in their way it would be a done deal. Same with Abbott and coal in AUS and Obama and coal and LNG in the U.S.

    Back to pipelines, those incompetent greedy lying bastards at Enbridge are busily slinging PR BS about the Mackinaw pipeline. It’s horrifying to see the underwater pics of long sections of unsupported pipe and the encrustations of zebra mussels (that encourage corrosion and inhibit visual inspection). A disaster waiting to happen.

    I mentioned the book Rust, which has a chapter on the Alyeska pipeline and the problems they have monitoring its condition and maintaining it. A great chapter titled “Pigging the Pipe” describes how they send robotic cleaning and sensing machines (called pigs) down the pipe, each one taking nearly a month to make the journey. The pipe gets encrusted with wax from the oil and scraper pigs are sent through continuously to clean that out and also push out the water that gathers in low spots. I wonder how often and how thoroughly Enbridge “pigs” the Mackinaw?

    A very interesting fact in “Rust” is that if the oil flow in the pipeline stops for a few days, the whole pipeline will freeze solid “like an 800 mile long popsicle”, and will have to be abandoned. As the North Slope fields are depleted, the flow in the pipeline is dropping down to and below the 300-400,000 barrel per day rate that is needed to keep things warm enough to avoid the “popsicle”. One of the reasons Obama may be allowing drilling in the Arctic is that any oil found there will be sent through the pipeline and get the flow rate back up to optimum. Same with the AWR. So it all may be a “conspiracy” to keep the Alaska pipeline alive—-the fat cats DID spend a lot of money to build it, made a lot from it, and CAN keep making more IF they get some help from their politician friends.

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