Canada’s largest credit union has pulled all investments in oil giant Enbridge following a scathing U.S. report on the company’s handling of its 2010 oil spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.
Vancity said in a statement Wednesday Enbridge no longer meets the company’s environmental, social and governance criteria, given the July 10 U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report that said the company’s employees had acted like “Keystone Kops.”
The board noted it took 17 hours, three shifts and several alarms before a local utility worker finally noticed the rupture and reported it to Enbridge. The spill leaked 3.3 million litres of oil into the river, coating wildlife.
“Until now, Enbridge met our environmental, social and governance criteria,” said Vancity president and CEO Tamara Vrooman via email.
“It’s unusual for Vancity to issue a news release on what is a matter of normal business, but clearly this an area of concern for our members.”
Vancity divested Enbridge holdings in its IA Clarington Inhance SRI funds worth nearly $2.5 million.
Enbridge spokeswoman Jennifer Varey said via email the company respects fund managers’ decisions about the companies in which they invest.
“We regret Vancity’s decision and we would welcome an opportunity to discuss with them the enhancements we’ve implemented in the two years since the Marshall incident, many of which directly address the recommendations and conclusions released in the NTSB report this July,” Varey wrote.
She said the company plans to enhance its pipeline inspection, leak detection, valves and clean up technology over the next two years.
The Joint Review Panel assessing the company’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to B.C. has asked Enbridge to submit the NTSB report by Sept. 4.