Enbridge takes out full page ad in the Free Press
All of a sudden, Enbridge wants to share information.
A full page ad appeared in yesterday’s Detroit Free Press featuring a letter by Enbridge Vice President Mark Sitek. And it’s a doozy. In fact, the letter is so artfully constructed, so disingenuous, so maddening, that it’s going to take us multiple posts to contend with it. We’re going to go paragraph by paragraph, so hang on.
As you might expect, Sitek addresses the letter “To our neighbors”– because, as we’ve discussed, they are fond of saying that they want to be good neighbors, even though they seem to possess some pretty strange ideas about neighborliness. The letter begins with a brief description of the Line 6B project and its many benefits to “the community,” stuff that we’ve heard before. We’ll let that slide for the moment (perhaps we’ll return to it in a later post) and focus on what Sitek says next:
In recent months, we have heard directly from community members who have questions about our Line 6B replacement projects. You have told us that you want to know more about the projects including how agreements are made with landowners, the safety and integrity of the construction process, the operation of the pipeline, and the role of regulatory oversight of pipelines and their construction.
Okay, fair enough. Those are all excellent questions. But they are also questions Enbridge could have anticipated and taken upon itself to answer months ago, well before they started construction, well before citizens and communities started causing a ruckus, well before they found themselves facing a lawsuit in federal court. But they didn’t. And because they didn’t, we and others have had to do our best to fill that gap, to try and learn about and explain these things as best we can. We’ve had to do it because, up to now, Enbridge has chosen to speak to the public as little as possible.
Which begs the same old question we’ve posed countless times on this blog: why? Why didn’t they just provide this information from the start? We don’t know what the answer to that question is, but we do know– and we have documented this pretty exhaustively– that they only respond to genuine public concerns afterthey’ve been called out, caught, backed into a corner. So don’t be fooled by Mark Sitek’s attempt to present himself as your friendly neighbor who has just generously decided to take it upon himself to help you understand all the great things he and his company are doing. Enbridge filed its application for phase one back in August of 2011. That means they’ve had 14 months to inform the public about all of the things they now say they want to inform us about– fourteen months.
Up next: the letter’s most extraordinary sentence.