NO KXL! — Corporate Incompetence Edition – No. 14

Here is some news you can reference when you’re making a public comment on the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Canadian National Energy Board just finished a review of TransCanada’s compliance with safety regulations. Guess what?

The company is “out of compliance with federal rules in several key safety areas”

While they are “for the most part” safe, the energy giant didn’t pass safety standards in hazard identification, risk assessment and control; operational control-upset or abnormal operating conditions; inspection, measurement and monitoring; and management review.

Whether it’s coal or oil, the core mentality underlying fossil fuel is essentially simple-minded: make a hole in the ground and burn the stuff that comes out. When your goal is to enrich your investors, then it’s good business to transfer the costs and consequences of leaks, spills, collapses, and containment failures to ordinary people, who’ll take care of it with their tax dollars. Furthermore, given the short attention span of most citizens, TransCanada and other pipeline promoters have nothing to lose by downplaying the risks and inflating the benefits of projects like the Keystone XL — and nothing to gain by making huge investments in safety, infrastructure, and maintenance.

As a path to riches, it’s not complicated — but as a way to encourage good citizenship, it’s a failure. As the climate crisis intensifies, the extractive industries can no longer ignore the grave moral dimensions of their environmental irresponsibility.

Okay, go get ’em.

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