Enbridge Pipeline

Canadian government approval of a 1,200 kilometer pipeline from the Alberta Oil Sands to Kitimat B.C. was a foregone conclusion. Enbridge Inc’s 6.5 billion dollar Northern Gateway project – intended to cut a B-line from tar sands to super tankers in Douglas Channel at Kitimat – came with a sugar coating of 209 “conditions”. Harper government jibber jabber attempted to soothe hundreds of protestors gathering in downtown Vancouver – feeble assurances at least 100 vague conditions would have to be met before construction could begin. Not limited to, but including satisfying a joint review panel, including the province of B.C. (in a project void of economic gain, and fraught with environmental disaster for the province) in the process, and “engaging” Aboriginal peoples and northern communities to “build trust”.

Lets take a look at Enbridge –

Between 1999 and 2008 Enbridge had 610 “little accidents” – spills responsible for 21 million liters of hydrocarbon ending up where they didn’t belong. In 2010 they released 4 million liters of tar sands into the Kalamazoo River – it never recovered or re-opened. Just one of the 91 “reportable’ spills that year – a slight improvement from 103 the year before. In 2009, U.S. branch Enbridge Energy Partners settled a lawsuit with the state of Wisconsin for 545 environmental violations. A 2011 “reported” leak of 4 barrels, classified as an insignificant “pin hole” leak made headlines when an Inuit man from Northwest Territories stumbled upon the reality of at least 1,500 barrels fouling his hunting grounds.

Visual aides are powerful and effective tools – we tend to take them at face value, seeing is believing – at least that’s what Enbridge assumed when the graphic on the left below appeared in one of their glossy presentations. Depicting an unobstructed channel with clear sailing to the open Pacific ocean. When Lori Waters posted the graphic on the right to her facebook page – an accurate portrayal of Douglas Channel showing narrow passages, tightly packed islands, and dangerous rocks – Enbridge  issued an embarrassingly transparent defense –

“That video is meant to be for illustrative purposes only. It’s not meant to be to scale. It’s meant to illustrate the pipeline route, not the marine aspects of the operation,” said Enbridge spokesman Todd Nogier.

Good one Enbridge! Couple your perfectly reasonable explanation with exemplary safety and environmental history – we feel a lot better now. What’s a smattering of whinny aboriginals, sock and sandal environmentalists, tree hugging alarmists, fresh water drinking idealists – when there’s money to be made.

The Harper government has no trouble swallowing your laughable smoke screening shenanigans. The rest of us aren’t so stupid, short sighted or powerful – you have us over a barrel and there’s not a thing we can do about it – well played. Just remember – nothing is forever, and this Canadian suspects you’ll be crying in your oil slick come the next election.

Enbridge adThe Douglas Channel as seen in an Enbridge ad, left, and a comparison image created by graphic designer Lori Waters. (Facebook)
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10 thoughts on “Enbridge Pipeline

  1. I never voted Conservative in my whole life. Never will…
    I feel so proud about myself this morning. I think I am going to hug a tree and put my sandals on…

    This is a great inspiring post Notes.
    You deserve all the compliments your readers will shower you with.

    On the sad part, how can people in Canada not able to see what is going on in this country? Have people lost any sense of directions? What are the alternatives? Certainly not my distant sixth cousin Justin who the more I listen to him the more I know he does not know what he is saying.

    You made my day a little brighter Notes though clouds are forming right now over my head. Endbrige reversed pipeline is just about 10 km from where I live. Here in Quebec politicians are thrilled about that… the pipeline not that I live 10 km from it.

    • I’ve thought long and hard about indifference, apathy and plain stupidity. On one hand I believe people are overwhelmed and want to believe the government gives a damn about them (I just cut die hard Conservatives a whole lot of slack) These are the same people who harbor right wing sentiments, – therefore heads go in the sand because alternatives are simply too horrifying.

      Next we have a combination of conflicting environmental message overload, slick advertising blitzes and helpless resignation.

      My daughter has an interesting theory, she dubbed it “bait and switch”. Her suspicion being there never was any intention for the pipeline at Kitimat. Toss it out there, weather a fuss, then come off as a moderate hero by compromising with it going someplace like Prince George.:)

      • That’s how politicians work.

        They throw something up in the air just to see people’s reactions.

        Hey they don’t react!
        Good… let’s do it!

        The consolation in all this, if there is some, Canada is not the only country having these kind of politicians.

      • That’s true – we could be American. A country where Lobbyist is an actual profession (knowing full well that translates to buying favor – and nobody has a problem with that) 🙂

    • All the enlightenment in the world won’t make “big oil” play nice. As for the masses – if you can tell me what it would take to make them understand change is possible (all it takes is getting off your ass) – I’ll be the first to run with it 🙂

      • Can think of no magic word or action that would motivate the masses. I do know that the masses are not happy with current conditions in America, the tea folks blame the government, the left blames the corporate control of the government. Still searching for a soul that can put these two together for some real change in our government. A mighty task indeed, in the interim we all must continue in our efforts at educating the masses. We are fighting a well financed, well trained force and sometimes our efforts seem trivial but , we are either moving in the correct direction or have stopped the movement in the wrong direction. 🙂 like the old cliche says inch by inch life’s a cinch, yard by yard life is hard.
        We all must continue inching our way forward.

      • My daughter and I had a long discussion about this yesterday. One of the things bothering me – I’ll call, “social media syndrome”. I’m as guilty of it as the next person. I worry over the process of connecting with like minded people via blogs, forums etc. taking the place of constructive action. We nod in agreement, pat each other on the back yet fail to suggest or implement a course of action. Once our position is validated (ignoring the fact we’re preaching to the choir), our indignation evaporates enough to lull us into a false sense of security. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Response from Notestoponder | randomthoughts

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