From earth out past the moon

From earth out past the moon View this e-mail in your browser. If you were to take all the pipeline running beneath Albertan soil and stack it end to end it would extend from earth out past the moon.

And yet Alberta doesn't legislate how long a company can go without remediating old and abandoned pipelines. Aging pipelines left in the ground can cause spills, noxious leaks and sinkholes.

We recently sent a dynamite team — investigative reporter Sharon J. Riley (that's her on the right) and photographer Amber Bracken — out to Fairview, Alta., to hear from a family of farmers about the surprising effects of pipelines on crop yields.

The Wiebens have lived alongside oil and gas infrastructure for nearly half a century. They accepted the construction of pipelines on their property as part of their "public responsibility", Don Wieben said. "Like if you had a new highway go through, some people were going to have to give up land for the good of the community."

But what Don and his family didn't realize at the time, as they were negotiating with company men around the kitchen table, was that those pipelines could be left in the ground 'in perpetuity.'

The numerous pipelines buried under the Wieben's land will likely remain there forever.

"It’s garbage," Don said. "It’s like going on a picnic and leaving all your trash in the bush."

Sharon's on-the-ground feature is full of details and incredible photos. Be sure to soak it all in and as always, we've got oodles more for you this week. Read on!


Carol Linnitt
Managing Editor

P.S. Recently we confessed we have just one full-time editor. Eeeek! (Also, hi, that's me!

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