Friday, 3 August 2012

Day 25, You Can Officially Comment on Enbridge "Online", But It Won't Be Easy....

Excitement: did you know you can publicly log your Enbridge opinion online by August 31st

Less excitement: just realized you also have to CC to three people who work at Enbridge. One step forward three steps back. Thanks to Pacific Wild for pointing this out. At least you can use e-mail.

Note, one part of the website (F&Q's for hearing order) hasn't included this information. I'm sure it wasn't trying to mislead people. But a better job when working on a multibillion dollar project, please!

Additional Aversion: you need to include your contact information online. It goes into the public registry - does that mean anyone can see my contact info online, or will it just be available to gov't?  Anyone know?

Official Letter of Comment
Pretty much the same as all the other letters I've written so far about this:

I'm happy that the Enbridge pipeline will have increased environmental safety measures, but is it enough? Canada's wilderness is unique and important...trying out these regulations seems like a science experiment we don't really need.  Let's experiment with greener jobs and renewable energy instead, where the biggest "spills" are much more benign. 

Here are some other reasons I think the pipeline isn't the best idea:

1)    Expense. Building the pipeline is a significant amount of money, and making it to a high safety standard will be cost prohibitive. At the end of the day, it’s nearly impossible to guarantee that there will be no spills or accidents. It’s not worth the costs required to make the margin smaller.

2)    Spills happen from time to time. The pipeline is often in more remote areas, which means workers have to work at a very high level of safety which is difficult and expensive. Renewable energy and energy conservation (if done well) is much safer, both for workers and the environment.

3)    Comparative advantage and foreign currency. Countries such as China are using solar panels and wind power at an increasing rate. If we work hard and become experts at creating renewable energy and energy efficiency or smart grid systems, we can still sell our products and expertise and gain money there.

4)    Global reputation. Investing in the pipeline will not make us popular internationally.  Everyone can benefit from what we learn if we invest in renewables and efficiency instead, even those with which we could have traded oil.  A few friends and a world of unhappiness, or a world where everyone appreciates and respects our protectiveness.

5) The Environment, Tourism, and Canada's Identity. Canada (particularly BC) is famous for its natural resources. Most Canadians are proud of their wilderness, even if the majority of their contact is going to a friend's cottage once a year. Tourism generates a large amount of revenue and jobs, which would be at risk if there was a spill of some sort.

Submitted Here:

And, as required to be valid, e-mailed to: 

Kenneth MacDonald
VP, Law and Regulatory Affairs
Northern Gateway Pipelines Inc.
30th Floor, 425 – 1st Street SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 3L8
Fax: 403-718-3525

Abby Dorval
Manager, Regulatory Affairs
Northern Gateway Pipelines Inc.
30th Floor, 425 – 1st Street SW
Calgary, Alberta,  T2P 3L8
Fax: 403-231-7380

Richard Neufeld, Q.C.
Barrister & Solicitor
Fraser Milner Casgrain
15th Floor, 850 – 2nd Street SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 0R8
Fax: 403-268-3100

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