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Enbridge's Pipeline Spills, PR Headaches and Corporate History

Feb 8, 2013
(Vancouver Observer)

The Enbridge story

When crude suddenly gushed from an oil well in Leduc, Alberta on February 13, 1947, the dramatic story of the province's 'black gold' rush kicked into high gear – a story, it turns out, that is deeply enmeshed with Enbridge itself.

In light of today's political debate around the Northern Gateway project, it's a surprising historical coincidence that the first pipeline to transport crude out of Alberta was built by Enbridge's predecessor – and its valve cranked open by the one-day leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP), Tommy Douglas.

“An historic occasion,” Douglas, then-Premier of Saskatchewan, proclaimed breathlessly at the pipeline's 1950 inauguration. “A modern miracle.