​Despite Saskatchewan spill, Notley says pipelines are “absolutely safest” way to transport oil and gas

Despite the recent Husky Energy Inc. oil spill in Saskatchewan, pipelines remain “absolutely the safest way to transport oil and gas,” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley told reporters during a news conference following last week’s Council of the Federation summer meeting in Whitehorse.

“The key is to ensure that we incorporate the safest mechanisms possible, the highest standards in terms of pipeline safety and pipeline monitoring, and also the highest standards in terms of clean-up,” she said in response to a question of how the recent spill in Saskatchewan impacts her efforts to see more pipelines built and her efforts to sell to the other premiers the virtues of pipeline safety.

“The fact of the matter is that had the spill occurred on rail, there might very well have been injuries involved. And so in everything you do there are safety issues or there are risks, but I would suggest that overall the risks are low,” the premier said.

When Notley discusses with jurisdictions and stakeholders the importance of getting oil and gas products to tidewater, urging them to accept pipeline infrastructure, she tells those jurisdictions and stakeholders that they are “absolutely right” to focus on the integrity and safety of the pipeline itself, and that it is up to pipeline proponents to ensure they do the best possible job in this regard.

“I believe that as we move forward with newer and newer pipelines, that is exactly what is happening in the industry, and so I am very confident that it actually represents the very safest way to go. I do believe our conversation should be about that, and that we do not bring a whole bunch of other issues into a conversation that is simply about pipeline integrity.”

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