By John Cotter
June 6, 2012
EDMONTON - The federal government has set up a counter-terrorism unit in Alberta and one of its main jobs will be to help protect the energy industry from attacks by extremists.
The integrated national security enforcement team will be led by the RCMP and include officers from CSIS, the Edmonton and Calgary police forces and federal border patrol.
Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said the key to effectively guarding the labyrinth of oil and natural gas wells, pipelines and refineries in Alberta will be to gather intelligence to prevent attacks before they happen.
"When we look at the booming economy of the province of Alberta over the years, one would be led to believe that there is an increased threat to the infrastructure," Michaud said Wednesday.
"We are basically looking at any individuals or groups that pose a threat to critical infrastructure, to our economy, to our safety that is based on either religious, political or ideological goals."
There are about 400,000 kilometres of provincially regulated energy pipelines criss-crossing Alberta. That does not include federally regulated or smaller distribution pipelines.
The Energy Resources Conservation Board estimates there are 176,000 operating oil and natural gas wells dotting Alberta's landscape. There are also eight oilsands mines, five upgraders and more than 250 in situ oilsands facilities.
The 32-member Alberta team is the latest to be announced by Ottawa since the 9-11 terrorist attacks almost 11 years ago. Other teams are already operating in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.
We are the protectors of the environment and you coin those who oppose your energy as eco-terrorists. Shame on you @$$holes! The industry is nothing more than a group of environmental terrorists and yet the 'Energy Oligarchy' has paid you to push us around as if we were your minions. Fractivists will prevail in protecting the elements of life! This is not a threat, the oil and gas industry is the threat. The industry is polluting our way of life, stealing our lives for a dollar bill. The industry is criminally destroying our water, filling our clean air with carcinogens and killing our children.
Hey Industry: YOU ARE THE TERRORIST! YOU ARE THE 'ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORIST' AND YOU SHOULD BE ARRESTED.