Environmental Groups Try To Block Enbridge Oil Pipeline

October 2009 Vol. 236 No. 10

Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to block a big oil sands pipeline Enbridge is building from northern Alberta to Superior, WI. The U.S. State Department approved the Alberta Clipper pipeline in August.

The lawsuit filed in early September by groups such as Earthjustice contends the State Department should not have approved the permit because importing the oil is not in the nation’s best interests, particularly with regard to the need to reduce global warming.

“The Alberta Clipper will mean more air, water and global-warming pollution, particularly in communities near refineries that process tar sands oil,” said Earthjustice attorney Sarah Burt. “The State Department fails to show how building a pipeline to import the dirtiest oil on earth is in our national interest.”

Denise Hamsher, a spokeswoman for Enbridge, Inc., says that construction on the $1.2 billion U.S. segment should be completed by mid-2010. “We received 60 different local, state and federal approvals,” she states.