How the Enbridge pipeline explosion affects students
By Katie Czenczek, News Editor
It turns out even Douglas College has been hit by the effects of the Enbridge pipeline explosion.
Days after the BC government announced their plans to build a $40 billion LNG natural gas pipeline, BC’s current natural gas supply was disrupted by a massive explosion on October 9. In the days following the explosion, about 100 residents of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation living near the pipeline were asked to evacuate, but have now been allowed back into their homes. The explosion occurred merely two kilometres away from the reserve.
North of Prince George, Enbridge’s natural gas line and primary supplier to FortisBC was heavily damaged. There is however still a 30-inch pipeline that continues to be in use, though it is only at 80 percent capacity compared to its normal operation.
Douglas College itself will be reducing its gas intake, meaning that it will be wise to bundle up in classes as the weather gets colder. Regan Lal, communications manager for Douglas College, sent Douglas College’s statement to the Other Press about how this will affect the college’s campuses.
“To help conserve gas reserves for essential services, Douglas College will be turning off heating systems at our main campuses,” the statement read. Lal highlighted in the email that students were sent this information via the Douglas College email server.
The college’s statement also wrote that, “Fortis has not provided a timeline for when normal service will resume.”
FortisBC has recommended ways to avoid turning up the thermostat. On their website they have asked people, where possible, to keep thermostats at a maximum temperature of 20°C. Other recommendations to reduce heat use include wearing sweaters, heating only the rooms a person is in, having colder, shorter showers, and washing laundry in cold water.
According to a press release sent out by FortisBC, the company will be receiving “about only 40 [percent] of our normal supply” for Vancouverites to use to heat their houses. This could pose a major problem especially for those up north as we approach the winter season. Quesnel and other cities throughout the province have already begun to hit negative temperatures.
The impacts of the pipeline are also reflected in soaring gas prices, so it may also be wise to transit rather than drive to classes. On October 13, gas prices increased to 163.9 cents per litre in Metro Vancouver, which is the region’s highest price to date.