Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vancouver Sun - shilling for dollars

REPLAY: First published Jan 2, 2012

Gordon Hoekstra and Postmedia's Vancouver Sun present another episode in the ongoing series, Shilling for Corporate Canada:

Enbridge is a Canadian success story:
"Patrick Daniel, its president and CEO... earned $8 million in 2010 in salary, bonuses, stock options and other compensation, ... self-proclaimed environmentalist, he proudly boasts of owning a single car - a somewhat beat-up 2006 Toyota Prius."
Admirable, eh? No doubt, he's saving for retirement because departing Encana executives are pushed out on the streets with barely more than token payments.

However, while Mr. Daniel gained $22.5 million in the value of his Enbridge shares in 2011 alone, the Sun wants us to think this ordinary man owns a beater for personal transportation. No mention of the limos and company owned luxury vehicles at his disposal. Nor does the Sun bother to relate that Daniel's more usual transportation is this 19-seat twin-jet Dassault FALCON 2000EX, worth something over $20 million.

How fortunate we are to have Postmedia to keep us informed of the Canadian aristocrats and their wonderful works. Aljazeera presents a report with a somewhat different look at the company run by this uber-rich "self-described environmentalist."
Enbridge's CV

"Enbridge has a long history of spills throughout both the US and Canada.

"According to Ottawa-based advocacy group the Polaris Institute, Enbridge is responsible for 610 spills - involving more than 22 million litres of oil - between 1999 and 2008. This is approximately half the amount of oil spilled during the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska in 1989.

"Less than two months after the 6B rupture, an Enbridge pipeline leak near Chicago brought on a civil suit against the company by the state of Illinois, which alleged that Enbridge endangered public health and created a public nuisance.

"Around this same time, the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced that Enbridge had agreed to settle another lawsuit for $1m over air pollution violations at a storage terminal in the city of Superior. The firm had already pledged to pay $1,100,000 to the state of Wisconsin to settle environmental claims regarding its failure to obtain and abide by permits governing its construction of pipelines through wetlands and waterways.

"That a semblance of justice is often more difficult to come by is clear, however, from testimony by citizens whose lives and livelihoods have been harmed by Enbridge's activities.

"Consider, for example, the Kalamazoo corn and soybean farmer who described the aftermath of the spill to Al Jazeera as follows: "I would be in my fields and could taste the chemicals, and I began to feel nauseous and shortness of breath...

"As for Enbridge's cleanup efforts in the area, Dr Stephen Hamilton - professor of Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry at Michigan State University and president of the board of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council - criticised the company's cosmetic approach and its focus on merely disappearing the most visible effects of the disaster, like sheen.

"At a meeting with Watershed Council members, Hamilton told Al Jazeera:

"Public involvement and transparency has been lacking, and we know this because we [the Council] were an environmental advisor in the cleanup effort. We can't tell you who [at Enbridge] is making the decisions, and what information they have, because they only tell us what they want us to know."

"Noting that the Kalamazoo spill "has totally fouled the river environment and floodplain, as the river was out of its bank and flooding when the spill occurred", Hamilton also expressed frustration at how Enbridge's lack of transparency is impeding a clear assessment of the disaster's impact on area wildlife.

'Mike Murray, staff scientist for the Great Lakes Regional Centre of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), meanwhile warned of oil's chronic effects on ecosystems:

"I have a big concern with longer term impacts from the chemicals in the oil, like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, [which] tend to be larger molecules and more persistent and can bio-accumulate in the food web and cause harmful effects to fish and wildlife, reproduction, and other problems."

"Al Jazeera asked Enbridge if the company would comment on safety concerns many people have about their operating practices, as well as for additional information (beyond what has already been provided to the public) about what the company is doing to prevent future spills.

"Enbridge refused to be interviewed..."

Kalamazoo River Michigan after Enbridge pipeline spill

Kalamazoo River Still Closed 15 Months After Oil Spill
"A rash of sicknesses, especially among children still plague Kalamazoo residents almost a year and a half after one of the worst inland tar sands oil spills in history. The river is still toxic and portions remain closed. Enbridge, the company whose ruptured oil pipeline caused the spill, is ducking interviews and comments on this Michigan disaster, one of 610 such spills since 1999."
Enbridge’s profits rise as revenues soar, Toronto Star
"CALGARY—Second-quarter profits at major oil and gas pipeline company Enbridge Inc. (TSX: ENB) nearly doubled as earnings from its liquids pipelines and gas distribution showed substantial improvements, and the firm predicted it will hit the upper range of its own expectations this year..."
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  1. Well now Norman --- you gotta cut Daniel a bit of slack.

    He putters around in a 2006 (environmentally friendly) beat-up Toyota Prius and an equally older (2007) Dassault Falcon EX.

    I'm of the opinion nothing can be more humbling than having to disembark from your old jet when it is parked right next to a Gulfstream G650 --- it's enough to make you want to hide your face with your coat in shame as you run across the ramp.

    Best to have the limo waiting right at the foot of the air-stair.

  2. Yes, it must be tough to be stuck with a Falcon EX when for only another $45 million or so you could be boarding a Gulfstream G650 when you feel the need for 36 holes at Garra de Leon Golf Course.


  3. Norm,

    You might go all year without publishing anything more apropos AND hilarious than the pig.

    This site just keeps getting better.

    Happy New Year.


  4. Enbridge just had to shut down another pipeline near Chicago, because of a car accident that hit the pipeline and caused a fiery explosion.

    These kinds of accidents, are another reason for stopping the Enbridge pipeline into BC as well as the dirty oil tankers. Human error is always a serious factor. In BC we have, avalanches, mudslides, rock slides, earthquakes and swift running flooded rivers, that take homes and highways out.

    This will be a battle we can't afford to lose. There were recently three freighters caught in one of the bad storms, off BC's coast. The storms tore the ships cargo's off into the sea. The three freighters limped back into BC harbors. One freighter had to put in a Mayday call.

  5. I have a horrible sinking feeling that in Harper's mind the Gateway pipeline is already a done deal. It will happen come hell or high water, as he is fond of saying. The current hearings are for "show". How do we radical environmentalists stop a person like this?

    Great comments here - I was LMAO!

  6. Ole, I think you're right. Ordinary citizens will not bend their intentions but First Nations people might stop the pipeline. That's why Northern Gateway proponents have a crew travelling around with cash to pay for support. A few hundred million placed in the rights spots might buy support from people who ordinarily live on the economic margins. Not to say there are not many principled elders who know this project will ultimately destroy that which they hold dear.

    BTW, be sure to read Mitchell Anderson's fine work at The Tyee about bitumen clean-up.

    Spill from Hell: Diluted Bitumen

  7. This is not good news.
    The government(s) will ram anything through. We will have to get stronger, and start putting ourselves on the line at some point.
    OCCUPY get ready, the time is coming sooner than later.



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