More Trouble for Imperial Oil
A Montana court has ruled against Imperial Oil trucking tar sands processing modules along western Montana highways. The decision was based on improperly-conducted environmental assessments by Imperial Oil’s consultants. The court action was initiated by Missoula County and three conservation groups, and focused on the megaload hauling negatively affecting the environment and creating an industrial corridor along scenic highways important to the tourism industry and regional recreation.
The Montana Governor is also upset with Imperial Oil, suggesting that there would not be such strong opposition to Imperial seeking permission to haul megaloads of tar sands processing modules through Montana if the modules had been built in the U.S. rather than in Korea. Imperial Oil had the modules manufactured in Korea, shipped by water up to Lewiston, Idaho, and now plans to truck them all the way through Idaho and Montana up to Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Some residents in Calmar, Alberta continue to be upset with Imperial Oil for not offering replacement costs in compensation for demolishing their homes in order to properly seal gas wells abandoned many years ago. Several of these improperly-abandoned wells had started leaking gas through the soil in residents’ back yards.
Imperial Oil’s parent company, ExxonMobil Corp., is being sued by Indonesian villagers who have accused the oil giant’s security forces of committing murder, torture and other atrocities.
Imperial Oil’s Mackenzie Gas Project, which involves a 1,200-kilometre-long pipeline, recently hit a snag when Shell Canada pulled out of the project. (The project has been controversial over its anticipated environmental impacts on the sensitive tundra, boreal forest and Mackenzie River valley; as well as impacts on the traditional lifestyle of Aboriginal people along the proposed pipeline route.) Imperial has until December 2013 to decide whether or not it will proceed with the project.