ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE
For Immediate Release: April 21, 2011
 
New Report Exposes Enbridge’s Role as “King Carbon” : Investors urged to consider whether company is socially-responsible due to carbon risk and proposed Northern Gateway pipeline
 
Ottawa, ON – A new report released today by Environmental Defence exposes Enbridge as the largest shipper of tar sands oil and responsible for moving more carbon pollution than entire countries the size of France.  A letter, signed by 13 environmental organizations in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, was sent today to 30 large socially-responsible investment firms urging them to consider the risk of Enbridge’s business model of shipping growing amounts of carbon-heavy fuel around the globe.
 
“Enbridge’s business model is based on bringing the world more and more global warming pollution from the tar sands, yet it somehow claims to be a responsible actor,” said Gillian McEachern of Environmental Defence. “Now, the company is trying to force another tar sands pipeline down the throats of British Columbians, despite repeated clear statements from First Nations, municipalities, and the general public that they do not want it.”
 
Key findings of the report include:
– Enbridge is responsible for shipping enough of Canada’s oil and gas each year to equal, when burned, half of Canada’s entire annual release of global warming pollution. This is more than the other large pipeline companies in Canada, making Enbridge “King Carbon.”
– While Enbridge has invested recently in green energy, the energy produced in a day by the company’s 700 MW of wind generation is roughly one-tenth of one per cent of the energy contained in the 2.5 million barrels of oil shipped each day.
– The risk of oil spills from the company’s aging pipeline network is increasing as more tar sands oil moves through them. Tar sands oil is more corrosive than conventional oil and requires higher heat and pressure to transport it, creating a greater risk of spills.
– Enbridge is planning to expand its role in the tar sands through the proposed Gateway pipeline and Line 9 pipeline reversal in Ontario at a time when Canada and other countries need to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy.
 
The thirteen groups who signed the letter include Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club U.S. and Prairie, Rainforest Action Network, Dogwood Initiative and Friends of the Earth Europe.  
 
“When scientists are telling us we must rapidly move away from fossil fuels to clean energy to avoid dangerous climate change, it is an increasingly risky business model to instead double down on the worst of fossil fuels like Enbridge is doing,” said McEachern.
 
The report is available at www.environmentaldefence.ca/king-carbon
 
The letter sent to the 30 socially-responsible investment firms is also available at www.environmentaldefence.ca/king-carbon
 
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca): We are Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
 
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For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Stephanie Kohls, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)