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article imageGreenpeace activists occupy Enbridge office in Vancouver

By Stephanie Dearing     Jul 28, 2010 in Environment
Vancouver - An unknown number of Greenpeace activists have taken over Enbridge's office in Vancouver following an oil spill in Michigan from an Enbridge pipeline Monday.
There are Greenpeace activists locked into Enbridge's Vancouver office, as well as activists setting up a protest camp outside the office tower in Vanvouver, Greenpeace said on its website. The outside protesters plan on locking themselves into a cargo vehicle.
The Province reports that four activists are chained to the front door of the office.
The activists have constructed a fake pipeline outside the office building, with oil trickling onto a photo of BC's Great Bear Rainforest, with a banner reading "Picture this on your coast." The office is headquarters for Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline project.
Greenpeace Canada is targeting Enbridge because, explained BC Director Stephanie Goodwin, “Enbridge is poised to become the BP of B.C. If Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipelines project goes ahead, it’s not a question of if a spill will happen, but when, where and how large. Greenpeace is taking action today to ensure B.C.’s beautiful coast doesn’t face the same fate as the Gulf of Mexico.”
The activists are demanding that Enbridge withdraw its application for what it calls the Northern Gateway Pipelines. Enbridge describes the project as "... a new twin pipeline system running from near Edmonton, Alberta, to a new marine terminal in Kitimat, British Columbia to export petroleum and import condensate." Enbridge submitted its eight volume application for the project in late May this year.
The pipeline, which will be just over 1,000 kilometers "Will carry an average of 525,000 barrels of petroleum per day."
In a spill that occurred on July 26th, approximately three million litres of oil poured into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan fron an Enbridge-owned pipeline. The pipeline runs from Griffin Indiana to Sarnia, and carries 30 million litres of crude oil daily, reported CBC News. The company's response to the oil spill was criticized for being "too slow," reported the Globe & Mail.
The activists painted a message on the doors of Enbridge's Vanvouver office with oil collected from the Gulf of Mexico. The message in oil says "BC Next?" while a banner just below says "Enbridge: No pipline, no tankers."
The activists say the Gateway pipeline will run through the Great Bear Rainforest to Kitimat, where Greenpeace says 200 crude oil tanker ships will come to fill up with oil every year. The review process has been started by Canada, Greenpeace said, and the organization wants Canadians to weigh in on the issue by writing to the government.
Goodwin said it was important for Canadians to protest the development, saying "The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill has devastated communities, wildlife and ecosystems. The only way to make sure B.C. doesn’t become the next ground zero for a major oil spill is for the Canadian government to legally ban oil tanker traffic from the West Coast. The proposed Enbridge oil highway represents an approach to energy that has passed its expiry date: high risk, few jobs and little value for B.C. communities.”
Greenpeace wants the tanker ships to be banned from accessing Kitimat. In June, Enbridge told the Vancouver Sun there was no risk of a spill from the planned Gateway pipline.
British Columbia's First Nations also oppose the pipeline, reported Oil Sand Truth.
Kitimat is a small town located in Northwestern British Columbia.
More about Greenpeace, Enbridge, Protest, Occupy office, Oil spill
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