Enbridge gets caught altering map
You’d think that with all the controversies surrounding the transportation of oil recently, companies would be careful about how they present themselves to the public. You’d also think that companies would realize they can’t get away with half-truths as easily as in the pre-Internet days.
Lesson #1 for oil companies: Try not to look evil. After the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, a new generation has once again seen what a failure of oversight and a lack of public interest can result in. So, it seems baffling that Enbridge has allegedly tried to get away with something as easily discovered as an altered map.
Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. recently released two promotional videos of their proposed Northern Gateway project, which would bring bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands to the coast of B.C. for export to Asian countries and natural gas condensate back east to Alberta. According to SumOfUs, which has posted an online petition, Enbridge conveniently forgot to include 1,000 km2 of islands which would get in the way of smooth sailing for the proposed 500 oil tankers a year.
Lori Waters, the scientific graphic designer who made the below right “filled in” map of the proposed route, has filed a complaint with the federal Competition Bureau. For their part, Enbridge has removed the offending image from one video and highlighted a disclaimer in the other.
Enbridge spokesman Todd Nogier made the following statement to The Victoria Times Colonist: "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. There's a disclaimer at the end because it's really clear this is meant to be illustrative."
The Polaris Institute, a public interest research and advocacy organization, reports that, according to Enbridge’s own data, between 1999 and 2000, the company experienced 804 spills that released 161,475 barrels of hydrocarbons into the environment.
With stats like that, the public will not be satisfied with mere “illustrative” videos. Enbridge can only hope to win over Canadians by coming clean about its proposed projects.
Images courtesy Lori Waters
-- Anna Miller, MSN Money