Tar sands industry, Enbridge, face collapsing insurance market for spill cleanups

Take heart, water protectors, public pressure is having success in stopping the tar sands oil industry.

Ironically, pressure seems to be more successful on the private sector than government itself, which is supposed to protect the public interest.

This month, Chubb Insurance announced it was dropping coverage on any tar sands oil projects, the result of public pressure, according to the Insurance Business Magazine. (Chubb describes itself as “the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company.”)

In June 2020, the Swiss-based Zurich insurance company announced it was dropping its coverage of Canada’s Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline. Zurich had been the pipeline’s lead insurer.

Some 16 insurance companies have dropped Trans Mountain’s coverage.

“Insurers are being pressured by environmental activist groups to exit their coverage of fossil fuel infrastructure because, without insurance, these projects can be stopped in their tracks,” according to an article in the Insurance Journal.

The insurance crunch will have an impact on Enbridge, and raise challenging questions for Minnesota state regulators.

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