Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel was quoted today in a Globe and Mail Investor story:

“We’re anticipating about a two-year regulatory process,” Daniel said, referring to the company’s Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline and tanker project to BC’s coast.

“It’s going to be very thorough and it probably will be noisy andcontentious. But we’re confident of the world’s need for the energy andwe’re confident in the strategic importance of this outlet forCanadians and ultimately those issues will be the deciding factor.”

Mr. Daniel is entitled to his opinion, but I’m afraid I disagree:

An understatement: “[The review for the pipeline/tankers] probably will be noisy andcontentious”

1. The world needs energy, but the world doesn’t need to get hooked on some of the dirtiest energy on the planet at the expense of the climate, and lands, waters, and many people here in British Columbia. I’m going to go ahead and say that the rest of the world will be perfectly fine without a hydrocarbon highway through the Great Bear Rainforest. Also, it’s not the ‘world needing energy’ that will be the deciding factor in this regard, but whether Enbridge can secure firm commitments from actual shippers to the project.

And shippers should be aware by now of the unified opposition from First Nations such as the Haida, Wet’suwet’en, Gitga’at, Gitxaala, Haisla, Nadleh Whut’en, Mikisew Cree First Nation and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and other First Nation bodies such as the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and the First Nations Summit of BC, who last year passed a resolution opposing the Joint Review Panel process that Enbridge is hanging its hopes of approval on. Smart shippers might want to wait until these massive conflicts are resolved before launching themselves right into the middle of the uncertainty.

2. Mr. Daniel conflates the interest of Alberta’s oil companies in having a ‘Plan B’ to the US market for oil – because of long term stagnation of demand in that country due to transitions to cleaner energy, because of price volatility, and because of evolving US climate change legislation and regulation – to a ‘strategic importance for Canadians’…

…Here’s an example of another Canadian who doesn’t seem to agree:

“My name is Logan Wilkins. I workand live in Barnard Harbor on Princess Royal Island for three to fourmonths of the year. My livelihood depends on an intact ecosystem.Everything from the fish to the animals, the forests, and the peoplethat feed off them also depend on this part of the world remaining inits natural state. I do not plan on allowing Enbridge’s Gateway Projectto continue. I will do everything in my power to stop this travestyfrom happening. The current review process is inherently flawed, anddoes not effectively address all those concerned. I plan on opposing,and promoting opposition to Enbridge’s Gateway Project as long as I amfree.” 

(submitted as part of Dogwood’s letter writing campaign to representatives of Alberta’s Oil Patch)

Sorry, but I’m not with Stephen Harper et al in assuming that the interests of Alberta’s oil companies are somehow the interests of Canada as a whole.

Mr. Daniel is right on one point. Northern Gateway is going to be noisy, it’s going to be contentious; and Enbridge Inc’s reputation will suffer as a result of endorsing an infringement on Aborginal Title and Rights and dragging British Columbians through a review for a project that 72% of people in this province don’t want.

You can write Patrick Daniel a letter by clicking here