Someone took the encouragement to "have a blast" this New Years too literally, I think. This might put me in danger of having my alarmist pants permanently epoxied to my legs, but I believe we have an Oil-field vigilante operating in Alberta. Take a look at these:
May 30, 1979 an explosion on the Trans-Canada pipeline caused evacuations in Englehart, Ontario
February 7, 1999, Alberta, natural gas pipeline explosion creates mushroom cloud seen 62 miles away.
July 11, 1999, Alaska, Whistleblowers report that the Alaskan Pipeline is in imminent danger of an explosion or other accident causing damage "much worse" than the Exxon Valdez incident.
July 26, 1999 Sibbald crude oil production valley, Arcadia Valley, Alberta, explosion and fire, one worker killed.
August 9, 1999 Calgary Oil recycling plant explosions and fire send three workers to the hospital.
1 December 2003, a rupture in the Trans-Canada pipeline occurred at approximately 120 km south of Grand Prairie, AB.14 hours later, another rupture and fire occurred 15 km downstream from the initial incident.
Oct 12, 16, 31, Jan 5, 2008, July 1, 4, 2009 Blasts on six days in the B.C-Alta border region rupture the EnCana pipeline, which are listed as being "deliberately set". Letters were sent prior to the attack demanding EnCana stop or "'we' would bomb [them]to hell". Weibo Ludwig had been arrested but was released early January, 2010.
September 13, 2009 a similar explosion to that of 1979 occurred, in Englehart, Ontario,leaving a 20-foot hole at the explosion site.
December 31, 2010 a pipe bomb with intact trip-wire is discovered in Merritt, B.C.
January 1st, 2011, an explosion near Swan Hills, Alta of the Pengrowth pipeline.Interestingly, the RCMP delivered a Peace bond to the home of Weibo Ludwig on Dec30th, 2010, two days before the most recent explosion.
The most frustrating thing is that few of these, other than the aforementioned arrest and discharge of Mr. Ludwig (He appears to be on the "catch and release" program. Maybe they will keep him when he gets bigger, but for now they have to tag him.) have any arrests or mentions of persons of interest at all. One report briefly hinted at the third Dawson Creek bombing (An innocuous shed was destroyed) being staged to plant an RCMP informant, but the information is vague and sketchy as to who was planted where. I can imagine that briefing being fantastic, however.
"Officer Smith, we need you to blow up a privy."
"Right-o, Sir! Permission to wear a raincoat for the short shower?"
"Permission granted! God save the Queen!"
(I am not sure when my Mounted Police became British, but this may be a sign I have been watching too much Fry and Laurie.)
The current news reports covering the New Years explosion mention that police are looking for the cause (they also mention the phrase "lit up the sky" so many times I had to take a puke break), and no one has linked this explosion to any others or any other anything, but we are not stupid. There are only so many "accidents" to go around, and the number of explosions has been increasing steadily since 1998. The climate in Alberta, which has been described as the "Texas of Canada" can easily breed the kind of contempt and seething rage that is necessary for such an aggressive but non-confrontational attack. The bomber obviously feels that he has limited other options to combat the problem, but I would be willing to guarantee he (or she) would have tried political options in the past and been stymied. So blocked, they turn their attention to more direct actions. The letters that were sent to EnCana specified that "we" would bomb them to hell. It is likely that this endeavor is planned or executed by several people. With the increased public inspection and disapproval surrounding the Oil-sands, I think it is likely we will see these types of incidents increase.
The sad fact is, however, they will likely be buried under other articles, or made to seem innocuous, so that the public does not panic. They need us terrorized in small, manageable doses. It is annoying that we are coddled in this fashion by the major media, but at least we can stick together.
I am craving blueberries quite bad.