Published: Wed, October 12, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Activists disrupt key Canada-U.S. oil pipelines

Activists disrupt key Canada-U.S. oil pipelines

At least nine anti-fossil fuel activists were arrested in multiple states Tuesday after allegedly shutting down five pipelines that transport crude oil from Canada's tar sands into the United States.

In January Enbridge was forced to shut a crude pipeline in Ontario, Canada, after a protester tampered with a valve station, while in December the company turned off another line in the province of Quebec for several hours after activists chained themselves to equipment.

Enbridge's spokeswoman said the company valve stations Lines 4 and 67 had been tampered with but no oil was spilled.

The group said they are acting in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who fear the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline proposed to cross Lake Oahe less than a mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation threatens their water supply and sacred sites.

Sopariwala said protesters shut down the pipelines between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. PT (1330 to 1430 GMT) by manually shutting off valves.

Law enforcement officers, left, drag a person from a protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Oct. 10, 2016.

"These are criminal acts that endanger the public and the environment", he said.

"They used the emergency valves because this is a climate emergency", she said.

"Activists employed manual safety valves, calling on President Obama to use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and mobilize for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe", Climate Direct Action said in a statement. She said the group had spent months researching how to safely shut down the pipelines. Kinder Morgan was not operating that segment of pipeline at the time.

The actions taken to unlawfully trespass on our facility in Minnesota and attempt to tamper with energy infrastructure were reckless and unsafe.

"I have signed hundreds of petitions, testified at dozens of hearings, met with most of my political representatives at every level, to very little avail", said 64-year-old mother Annette Klapstein of Bainbridge Island, Washington, who was arrested just before publication.

Activists in four US states broke into remote flow stations to manually turn off valves on TransCanada Corp's Keystone line, Enbridge Inc's Line 4 and 67, the Spectra Energy Express line and a feeder line on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain system.

Meanwhile, Enbridge confirmed on its Twitter account that a pipeline had been tampered with.

Three were arrested in North Dakota and identified by the activist group as Michael Foster, 52, Seattle, Sam Jessup and Deia Schlosberg.

"Trespassing is not acceptable and we will prosecute", Spectra said in a statement. Kinder Morgan Inc. shut a section of its Trans Mountain line in Washington state, which has since been restarted.

Shell oil, which operates a refinery in Anacortes, did not immediately respond to a request to comment for this story.

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