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Public Lecture: Pipelines Through ParadiseExport this event to calendar

Thursday, May 30, 2013 — 7:00 PM EDT

Pipelines through Paradise: a panel discussion on Alberta oil

Dr. Peter Hodson, Professor in Dept. of Biology, Queens University
Dr. Stella Swanson, Swanson Environmental Strategies, Calgary, AB
Drs. Rebecca Rooney and Heidi Swanson,
Dept. of Biology, University of Waterloo
oil pipeline to distant forested hills
Photo Credit: Luca Galuzzi
Not a week goes by without pipelines making headlines - whether it’s a new spill, an unexpectedly slow and expensive clean-up, or an ongoing controversy over new or proposed pipelines. In Canada, the National Energy Board oversees more than 70,000 km of oil and gas pipelines, and nearly half of those pipelines are over 30 years old. Fourteen spills were reported in 2010 and 2011, and Canadians are concerned about the effects of current and future pipeline spills on their land, water, and food. The pipeline debate has really heated up due to Alberta’s increasing exports of diluted oil sands bitumen to distant refineries and markets. Diluted bitumen, or dilbit, is the type of unconventional oil that the highly controversial Northern Gateway and Keystone XL pipelines are proposed to transport. It is also the type of oil that may soon flow through Ontario to refineries in Quebec via Enbridge’s line 9 or TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline. Using the Northern Gateway pipeline as a case study, we will learn the science of dilbit and the potentially unique environmental challenges of dilbit spills. We will also delve into the real meaning of risk assessment and risk communication, and explore how a myriad of social and scientific issues are playing out in the politics of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
OPT - Optometry Building
Rm 347
200 Columbia Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1