“My place is destroyed” – Albertan

Plains Midstream Canada, wow, what an ironic name given their midstream oil leak on the plains of Alberta. I hope Plains Midschool Canada, or Plains Midlake Canada don’t operate in Regina.

Gord Johnston grew up on the banks of the Red Deer River, at a place his family first settled in 1939. On Thursday evening, just before 7, he returned home to the nauseating smell of crude oil in the air.

Little more than an hour later he was in a helicopter, flying down one of Alberta’s principal waterways, where he saw a wide plume of oil flowing along the banks of a river that had already flooded its banks, running heavy with rainfed spring melt.

The oil, some 1,000 to 3,000 barrels of which spilled from a pipeline owned by Plains Midstream Canada, stretched nearly 10 kilometres up-river from Mr. Johnston’s 57 acres on the Red Deer River. As they flew in the helicopter, the source of the leak was obvious: “You could see it boiling up where the line crossing was,” Mr. Johnston said.

The oil was surging up into the river from below, where a pipeline owned by Plains Midstream Canada ran. That company, in an early press release, said the oil leaked into a creek leading into the river. Mr. Johnston saw differently. It was leaking from underneath the river itself.


“How do you clean that up?” Mr. Johnston said, as he drove a reporter through his property, large portions of which are now stained with oil.

“My place is destroyed,” he said, as he prepared to abandon home, hoping that someone would offer security to protect it in his absence. “My whole life’s work is gone. I’ve pretty well lost it all here.”

Adding to his concern: there are no booms anywhere near his place. Workers, instead, have concentrated their efforts on cleaning the spill some 30 kilometres away, at a dam, as they attempt to keep the oil from making it to the city of Red Deer, which uses the river as its primary water source.

The Alberta government will laughably claim that they’ll make victims of the spill “whole”, like the farcical Obama government after the BP Gulf disaster a couple years ago. It hasn’t been cleaned up completely, because it’s beyond human capacity to do so.

If you don’t know how to fix it, stop breaking it!
There’s no bringing back the dead, and there’s no way to fix a massive oil spill. You can learn from mistakes, but sadly it seems even that small take-away is being left in the past.



Hat tip to West End Bob

Oh, I read soon after I wrote this blog post on Friday, that the man whose land was destroyed, had been hospitalized due to the fumes. You can see in the quote above that he and his wife were already feeling ill before they talked with the Globe and Mail:

“Light sour crude oil has a strong petroleum odour but this odour does not pose a health or safety risk to the public,” Plains Mistream said in a statement, “Plains is monitoring air and water quality closely and will notify residents of any changes.”

Plains Midstream, a subsidiary of Plains All American American Pipeline LP, is the same company that saw a 28,000-barrel spill in northern Alberta last year. That spill on the Rainbow pipeline was discovered in late April of 2011. It halted operations on some stretches of the Rainbow line until late August.

I think we know how much we can trust the PR department of Plains Midstream for medical (or pipeline) advice. Hilarious that they are “All American Pipeline”, yet they have a Canadian subsidiary. They also don’t know the meaning of the word “all” perhaps. Could we see how much they are owned outside of America and Canada too?

About these ads

4 responses to ““My place is destroyed” – Albertan

  1. 1) Safety regulations are anathema to Big Oil’s lust for profits.
    2) Ditto for clean up costs. They are a cost of doing business and will be largely transferred to the taxpayers because these companies aren’t required to carry sufficient insurance.
    3) Reducing oil consumption is anathema to Big Oil’s lust for profits. Therefore, more pipelines have to be built in order to increase the mining of bitumen and burning of fossil fuels.
    4) Ditto for telling the public the truth about the danger of oil spills. That’s just the way it is. The less the public knows, the better it is for Big Oil.
    5) The truth is anathema to Big Oil’s lust for profits.

    With the deregulation taking place with the omni-budget bill, expect
    1) More oil spills as environmental assessments and the Fisheries Act are shred to pieces.
    2) More passing the buck on clean-ups.
    3) More denials about the extent of the spills.
    4) More denials about the economic and human health costs.
    5) More lies without any recourse to hold the government accountable.
    6) No recourse other than to be labeled enemies of Canada.
    7) And of course, growing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Harper’s new patriotism requires us to accept all of the above in the name of “progress” and trickle down economics. They intend to build their pipeline to Kitimat come hell or high water. This spill and last year’s much larger spill in the Peace River valley 3 days before the election are harbingers of the future. Oil spills are now a perfectly acceptable cost of doing business.

    The youth of Alberta should be leading the way like the students of Quebec to put an end to this insanity.

  2. This is exactly why we don’t want the Enbridge pipeline, nor the dirty tar tankers in BC. Enbridge is especially known for their lies and known for, not cleaning up their spills.The Red Deer River spill is a catastrophic disaster. This far from the first time, the stench of oil has made Alberta citizens ill. The oil stench made F.N. children so sick, they had to abandon their school. The F.N. clean underground water, was totally poisoned. But, I guess that’s ok, the F.N. people don’t count anyway, especially to big oil and Harper.

    Harper has a very close relationship with China. China has been hacking into other country’s secret files. Seems it was a very bad mistake, for country’s to buy electronic components from China. The U.S. is very concerned about their country’s security. They are pulling their company’s out of Canada. Thousands of jobs are being lost for Canadians. Our high Canadian dollar, is killing us too.

    The chemicals put in with the dirty tar oil, are so lethal and caustic. The chemicals eat the pipes into a fragile state, then they burst.

    Citizens of BC, DO support our F.N. People. 75% and counting, BC citizens are supporting our F.N. people, to keep the atrocities of the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty tar tankers, from destroying the F.N. food sources. The F.N. people have been suffering from Harper and Campbell’s eco damage, of the filthy diseased fish farms, killing off the wild Salmon.. Campbell thieved and sold our BC rivers. Fools put hydro dams in them. Thousands of fish are being left stranded because, of these asinine dams.

    BC people are not going to support, Harper giving Canada away to Communist China. There are RCMP anti-terrorist squads, to protect the Enbridge pipeline, from we terrorists. Oliver called the people against the dirty tar sands, terrorists. Really strange. BC people are who are being terrorized, by Harper and his ranting, raving henchmen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s