Canada: British Columbia gas pipeline bombed again

A gas pipeline owned by EnCana near Tomslake in northern British Columbia was bombed for a second time in a week Oct. 16. Neither that explosion nor the earlier one on Oct. 11 significantly damaged the pipeline, which carries sour gas, natural gas that contains toxic hydrogen sulfide. The second blast created a small leak and forced a shutdown of the pipeline. Last week, news organizations in the region received anonymous letters demanding that local oil and gas projects be shut down.

One of the letters, received by the Dawson Creek Daily News on Oct. 10, set a deadline of Oct. 11 for “EnCana and all other oil and gas interests” to close down operations near Tomslake, and vowed not to “negotiate with terrorists” taking part in the “crazy expansion of deadly gas wells in our home lands.” The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have turned over the investigation to their anti-terrorist Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, and flown in bomb-site analysts from Ottawa.

The region has recently seen protests aimed at the energy industry’s ever-growing environmental footprint. A group of Tomslake residents protested the development of a sour gas well in the area in June. That same month the Kelly Lake Cree Nation staged a road blockade to draw attention to health and safety concerns linked to gas well development. (CanWest News Service, Oct. 18; NYT, Oct. 17)

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