Can the internet take on Enbridge?

If a tar sands pipeline and supertankers project looks too dangerous, what do you do? If you’re Enbridge, you delete islands off of public videos and maps – apparently to try to convince the public the project is safer than it really is.

Right now, oil and gas giant Enbridge is fighting to build a 1,177 km tar sands pipeline from Alberta, to BC’s coast, despite massive public opposition.[1] If the project is approved, up to 500 tankers a year, many laden with toxic heavy crude oil will have to weave through the 4th most dangerous waterway in the world, making sharp, 90° turns through twisting, rocky passages.

Enbridge knows that as the public learns about the 800 oil spills it caused in the last decade, they are turning against the company’s plans to run pipeline and tankers through pristine rainforest and coast. So it hired the same PR firm that worked for Big Tobacco and Enron to roll out a multi-million dollar public image makeover. Its slick website campaign is designed to convince the public that the oil tanker route is safe, but a scientist just discovered that Enbridge deliberately removed 1,000km² of islands off of a public video and map to make the oil tanker route look much less treacherous than it actually is.

Tell Enbridge to stop misleading the public and pull the ads immediately.

Enbridge’s pipelines across North America just keep spilling, and the official report from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board found that negligence caused the massive 3 million litre Michigan Kalamazoo spill in 2010. [3] Two years after the worst pipeline spill in US history, the toxic crude is still polluting waterways and making people sick.

Enbridge’s official application to build the Northern Gateway Pipeline includes maps from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Google Earth, and even the Government of Canada. This proves that Enbridge knows what the treacherous oil tanker route looks like — but is grossly misrepresenting how wide the shipping routes would be, and misleading the public about the true dangers of the project.

The slick route animation, and map in the route safety video, both show Douglas Channel without the maze of islands that oil tankers as long as the Eiffel Tower will have to weave through. [5-6] Enbridge knows that spill cleanup would use skimmers and booms that work only in low breezes and a light chop — not in treacherous waters with names like Terror Point, Calamity Bay and Grief Point.

Right now, Enbridge is feeling the heat. Its pipelines just leaked again – this time in Wisconsin – intensifying fears about its safety track record. [4] And now, Enbridge’s CEO is admitting that opponents to the pipeline have taken control of the debate, and he’s trying to discredit them by labelling them as “revolutionaries”. [1] Enbridge is highly vulnerable to public pressure, that’s why we’re teaming up with global corporate campaigning group to run this campaign. If enough of us speak out together, we can force Enbridge to pull the ads.

Tell Enbridge to pull its misleading pipeline ads immediately:

With hope and respect,

Matthew, Jamie, and Maggie on behalf of the team


[1] Enbridge CEO says environmental groups have taken control of pipeline debate (Edmonton Journal)

[2] Report slams Enbridge Energy’s history of oil spills (Detroit Free Press)

[3] Questions over Enbridge’s Kalamazoo spill dog pipeline proposal (Edmonton Journal)

[4] Enbridge shuts large Canada-US pipeline after spill (Globe and Mail)

[5] Enbridge’s misleading videos:

[6] Misleading map: is an independent community that brings Canadians together to hold government accountable, deepen our democracy and take action for the common good.

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One Response to Can the internet take on Enbridge?

  1. Danny Handelman says:

    The “conservatives” should get “tough on crime” by prosecuting Enbridge for its violation of truth in advertising legislation.

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