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Dirty Oil CEO Calls Pipelines “The Weak Link”
The CEO of one of the world’s biggest dirty energy companies is accusing conservationists of…well…playing to win, I think? Enbridge Incorporated has made headlines the last few years for all the wrong reasons, including a massive tar sands oil spill in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River and another big spill earlier this summer in Wisconsin, and yesterday the company’s chief executive labeled his opponents “revolutionaries” who are trying to take down the system:
I think we’re facing a very strong, almost revolutionary movement to try to get off oil worldwide, and it creates a lot of passion and drive in those revolutionaries that are trying to change the environment in which we work. They know that going after the end user, going after you and I when we drive our cars, … won’t work. So they’re coming after what they consider to be the weak link in the whole process, and that’s the infrastructure part of it.
I’m momentarily speechless. Daniel hit the nail square on the head — we are targeting the weak link (I don’t think he quite realized what he was saying, but it’s true) by going after pipelines. Enbridge makes its billions by operating a vast network of leaky pipelines across North America and, along with competitors like TransCanada, is exploring ways to expand into new territory and even overseas. But the industry has been rattled by unprecedented citizen uprisings against the Keystone XL pipeline (in the US) and the Northern Gateway pipeline (in Canada) and now sees its growth model in jeopardy. So of course the logical step is to attack the environmentalists, tribes, farmers, scientists, mothers and fathers who are opposed to their dirty projects.
What Daniel gets wrong is his claim that we would like to go after “the end user” — anyone who drives a car or truck. I love cars. They’re great. I used to zoom my Hot Wheels around the living room, and if someone gifted me a Porsche I would keep that thing shining like a diamond. And one of the most exciting developments of the 2010’s has been how quickly the auto industry is creating better, faster, cleaner cars that go further on a gallon of gas or—even better—a volt of electricity. This is exciting stuff, great for the economy and drivers, but bad for companies like Enbridge whose entire business model is based on getting us to guzzle more gas and oil.
So you know what? I like how it sounds — “Revolutionaries!” I’m proud to be one of the millions who want a revolution, so Enbridge, TransCanada, the climate deniers at the American Petroleum Institute, all of these corporations that have corrupted our political system and wrecked our environment, they can pin that label on us all they want.
To see what the future of fast looks like, check out DrivingGrowth.org
Read NWF’s report Importing Disaster: The Anatomy of Enbridge’s Once and Future Oil Spills