Friday, September 7, 2012


Pipeline News

Crude or Bitumen?

What difference does it make?

Released by Pipe-Up Network


esidents of the Lower Mainland are expressing alarm at Kinder Morgan's apparent lack of awareness of the effects of a potential spill of tar sands diluted bitumen along the Trans Mountain Pipeline or in the coastal waters of southwestern British Columbia.


“If Kinder Morgan is oblivious to the safety risks related to transport of bitumen right now, how can they be expected to make decisions that will ensure the health and safety of our communities?” asks Chilliwack resident, Sheila Muxlow.


Muxlow and other members of the PIPE UP Network in southwestern BC, are concerned about recent statements of Kinder Morgan representatives made in their appearance before the Metro Vancouver Port Cities Committee on July 27, and, more recently, at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Chilliwack on August 23. “The company’s recent denials of the differences between diluted bitumen and conventional crude, raise questions about their integrity,” says Muxlow.


When they appeared before the Metro Vancouver politicians in July, Kinder Morgan representatives announced that their studies show that diluted bitumen, or “dilbit,” floats in sea water. This claim has not yet been proven, and various authorities, including the BC Government do not accept it.[1] “I’m puzzled,” says Langley resident, Susan Davidson. “Why are they making these claims when diluted bitumen has been shown to sink, in real live spill situations?” 


At the Chamber of Commerce event, Kinder Morgan President, Ian Anderson, seemed unaware of the findings of U.S agencies who investigated Enbridge’s 2010 tar sands pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. “His answers to questions contradicted the findings of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Environmental Protection Agency regarding the Michigan spill that took two years and over $800 million to clean up,”


Mr. Anderson claimed that there is no difference between diluted bitumen and conventional crude oil,” says Muxlow. “He maintained that diluted bitumen, or ‘dilbit’ floats on


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