Need to Avoid Oil Spill Danger? Draw Your Own Fake Map!
A major oil industry player is in hot water again, this time for an advertisement that appears to re-write the geography books. Enbridge Incorporated, which is at the center of intense debates in both Canada and the US over its tar sands projects, is running an ad touting the”Northern Gateway” pipeline that would cut through Alberta and British Columbia on its way to the Pacific coast for export. In the ad, Enbridge takes poetic license to the extreme by showing a radically altered map of Douglas Channel, the route that oceangoing tankers would have to take to access the oil pipeline at Kitimat, British Columbia. Check out the graphic below:
The advocacy group SumOfUsis running a campaign to pull the misleading ad off the airwaves,alleging that Enbridge is “deliberately and dramatically misrepresenting the risk of oil supertankers travelling through the 4th most dangerous waterway in the world.”
Enbridge was already having a bit of a rough week, as CEO Patrick Daniel went on the radio to complain that pipeline opponents are “revolutionaries” bent on exploiting the “weak link in the system” (pipelines) to move the country toward renewable fuels.
Though not as well-known in the United States, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project is the Canadian equivalent of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and has been attacked by First Nations indigenous groups, conservationists and millions of citizens angry at the oil industry’s heavy-handed approach and pattern of environmental destruction. The project would send tar sands oil to Asia and help expand the reach and influence of Alberta’s tar sands industry, but the province of British Columbia has resisted it so far, with Premier Christy Clark publicly slamming Enbridge for its failures.
An NWF report released earlier this summer details the company’s record of disaster — more than 800 spills over the last 13 years, including a million gallon tar sands spill in Michigan in 2010 and a 50,000 gallon spill in Wisconsin just last month. “Enbridge’s long history of pipeline spills can’t be explained by mistakes or bad luck,” says NWF senior vice president Jeremy Symons. “You can’t make the same mistake eight hundred times, but that’s how many oil spills we have seen from Enbridge pipelines. Contaminated water may be an acceptable cost of doing business to Enbridge, but we can’t afford to turn a blind eye to their irresponsible safety record.”
Read NWF’s report Importing Disaster: The Anatomy of Enbridge’s Once and Future Oil Spills