The Sierra Club and seven other environmentalist groups have filed suit against the US State Department alleging that the cabinet-level department approved a new pipeline without doing an environmental impact study. The groups claim that they have submitted an FOIA request to obtain records of the plans for the pipeline in question but it has not been filled. They state that the pipeline will have adverse impacts on the environment resulting in aquatic habitat damage and degrading water quality.
The mean greenies accuse the pipeline’s owner, Enbridge Energy LP, of seeking to increase the amount of oil extracted from Canadian tar sands. The complaint against the pipeline also states that the company’s own reports indicate that over 30 leaks and spills have taken place in the location of the first half of the pipeline in northern Michigan resulting in over 800,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.
Enbridge Energy has responded to the allegations previously and the 2010 oil spill incident was not directly related to the pipeline in question but was from the failure of its 6B pipeline failing which is located within Michigan itself. The company spent $1.22 billion on the Kalamazoo river cleanup that was originally thought would be in the range of $90 billion and paid $40 million in fines to the EPA. The company owned up to its responsibility for the cleanup and even replaced parts of the pipeline in question so it would be more structurally sound. You notice, however, the environmentalists misstated (dare I say lied) about the Kalamazoo River oil spill.
The reason for environmentalist opposition to pipelines is simple. If pipelines are not an option, transportation of oil takes place by water, truck, or train which means more carbon emissions take place and the likelihood of accidents increases. When more pollution resulting from oil transportation is pointed out in the media, the environmentalists make the case for more controls and other regulations that make transportation and even usage of those methods more difficult.
When oil spills resulting from barge accidents on rivers or lakes occur, environmentalists not only scold the company(ies) involved but also call for and applaud the enactment of (you guessed it) more rules to make transportation harder. The end goal to gradually halt the use of fossil fuels which are alleged to contribute largely to climate change. Gang green wants more carbon pollution from oil company transportation methods so they can be condemned by gang green down the line so that all human activity (including our existence) will eventually come to a grinding halt.