If you’re familiar with the name Enbridge, it’s probably because of the company’s stellar track record of spilling oil all over Michigan and then spilling a bit less oil all over Wisconsin. It’s like a vaudeville skit, something out of Laurel and Hardy — a clumsy buffoon slipping and sliding all over the stage, oil pouring from his pants pockets and from under his hat.
Enbridge is currently “managed” by a guy named Patrick Daniel, continuing the new trend of dudes only having first names. Patrick Daniel (whose name I just accidentally typed as “Denial” — seriously — and then thought about whether I should change it) went on the radio in Canada yesterday and said the following things, according to the Edmonton Journal. His goal was to get people to like this idea he has for a new pipeline to take tar-sands oil from Alberta to British Columbia. He was maybe not so successful.
Everything that we say sounds defensive and self-interested, and on the other side, everything they say … is really taken as gospel — and it isn’t.
Shorter version: “Just because we lie, people don’t like us.”
Setting aside the irony of claiming that science is “taken as gospel,” the debate isn’t between oil-lovers and oil-haters. It’s between people who make money by polluting and people who would like to curtail that pollution. It’s between an industry that seeks to obscure the truth and a movement that wants to clarify. By the way, dude — you sound defensive.
He also said:
I think we’re facing a very strong, almost revolutionary movement to try to get off oil worldwide, and it creates a lot of passion and drive in those revolutionaries that are trying to change the environment in which we work.
Shorter version: “These people are scary and you should be scared of them.”
I mean, yeah, I guess it’s revolutionary to want to not ruin huge swaths of the world, and it’s kind of revolutionary to run scientific experiments. But, come on, Patrick John Daniel Fred. Are you seriously complaining about how activists are “trying to change the environment in which [you] work”? Because your work is literally changing the environment of the world. Not a metaphor! And the point is exactly that people would prefer you not.
And then he said:
[T]hey’re coming after what they consider to be the weak link in the whole process, and that’s the infrastructure part of it.
This doesn’t need a shorter version. The guy whose company is responsible for the largest landlocked oil spill in the history of America can’t figure out why people think he’s the weakest link.
We think you are the weakest link in a bad system, Mr. Denial, because your pipes that link oil producers to refineries are weak and break (see above). That’s why. It’s as though a chain manufacturer can’t figure out why everyone keeps trying to break its chain by focusing on the link made out of butter. Enbridge is the weakest link, and 10 years ago, I could have made a culturally relevant joke about that.
However. All jokes aside, I support Tony Jim Patrick Pierre Fritz taking time to be on the radio. In fact, maybe he and his coworkers should get into the radio business en masse. Radio waves are supposed to leak.
Viva la revolucion!