Tagged: Enbridge

Enbridge

PROBLEM: Oil Spill.
SOLUTION: Mop it up with human hair!

That was the message behind the cockamamie “MyHairCares” hoax, attributed to oil transport giant Enbridge, a Canadian company looking to build a 700+ mile pipeline through pristine British Columbian wilderness. "MyHair Cares," which was promoted in a slick Video News Release and involved a flurry of conflicting press releases, was dreamed up by former oil workers and involved outreach to over 1000 hair salons across Canada.

Why Enbridge? Because the company's proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen, a project that would cut across the Rocky Mountains, the pristine Great Bear rain forest, and over 1,000 streams and rivers. The pipeline would carry 700,000 barrels a day of petroleum products across 1,170 kilometres between Alberta’s Tar Sands and the Pacific Coast, where supertankers would carry the crude though the treacherous Douglas Channel—an area in which currents render conventional oil containment booms useless.

And the company's conduct in the lower 48 doesn't do much to inspire confidence. In the summer of 2010, an Enbridge pipeline spilled more than 800,000 gallons of oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River. Enbridge is expected to face federal criminal charges for neglecting to maintain that pipeline; they are also accused of merely covering up, not actually cleaning up the oil.

One salon owner contacted after the ruse lauded the activists’ approach to getting the media to pay attention to one of the most pressing environmental issues in North America. "I wasn't tricked, I was educated,” said Brian Phillips, owner of World Salon in Toronto. “I had no idea what the people in Michigan were going through with Enbridge. We shouldn’t invite that treatment here in Canada.”

The hair hoax was covered in all the major Canadian press, and was capped off by a free haircut session in front of Enrbidge headquarters. Ultimately "My Hair Cares"  was meant to highlight the fact that, based on its track record, Enbridge lacks any real plan for oil spill remediation—and that sopping up oil with human hair would actually be an improvement.

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Mar 15, 2011 09:00 ET

Enbridge Partners With Hair Salons for Cutting-Edge "MyHairCares" Initiative

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) today announces MyHairCares (click here for downloadable Video News Release), a program to turn hair clippings solicited from over 1000 hair salons across North America into super-absorbent oil clean-up booms. This cutting-edge, community-based initiative forms a critical element of the sophisticated array of safety measures anticipating potential issues surrounding development of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines in British Columbia.

“Absorbent booms made from human hair played a role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill clean-up,” said Brent Carlton, Sustainability Initiatives Director for Enbridge. “Enbridge is using this powerful lesson to prepare proactive, community-centred steps towards remediation of unforeseeable spill scenarios associated with Northern Gateway. It's a wonderful opportunity.”

Alabama hair stylist and inventor Phil McCrory discovered in 1995 that one pound of hair could absorb up to 5 pounds of oil. With MyHairCares, Enbridge aims to collect 450,000 pounds of hair, capable of absorbing up to 2.2 million pounds of oil. To do so, Enbridge has already reached out directly to over one thousand hair salons across North America.

The formidable Enbridge hair reserve, fashioned into 30,000 4-metre booms, will be stored in numerous warehouses all along the Northern Gateway Pipelines' 1,170-kilometre route, along both sides of the 90-kilometer Douglas Channel through which tankers will travel, and along much of the pristine British Columbia coast. The MyHairCares hair booms will serve to contain pipeline leaks before they reach watersheds, and in-ocean spills before they reach the coast. Hair boom assembly facilities will employ dozens of local residents.

The response from the hair care community has been enthusiastic. “MyHairCares provides a unique opportunity for our salon to do our part for sustainability,” said Suzanne Weiss, a stylist at Zinc Salon in Vancouver. “We’re thrilled that our by-products can help British Columbia remain beautiful.”

Enbridge developed the MyHairCares initiative after a significant spill in Michigan's Kalamazoo River last year established a need for community synergy. Although the spill was largely contained, some residents implied they would have enjoyed more involvement in the disaster response process.

“Too often, oil spills pit communities against the company responsible,” said Dina Thompson, Director of Community Relations. “That’s unacceptable, and so we’ve developed ways to collaborate with communities from the outset, so that all of us together can prepare for the tragic and unforeseeable.”

Enbridge takes precautions to prevent accidents,” said Carlton, “but oil spills are a tragic, inevitable cost of our business. What we can and must do is assure that we have sustainable, effective clean-up and containment technologies on hand in case something does go wrong—and that we involve the community in the process.”

“Together we can learn that forward-looking stewardship of affected future landscapes will mitigate, or even potentially eliminate, statistically significant risks,” Carlton added.

If you know of a hair care salon that might like to help keep British Columbia beautiful into the future, and that has not yet received the MyHairCares introductory packet, please visit www.MyHairCares.com.

Enbridge Inc., a Canadian company, is a North American leader in delivering energy and one of the 2011 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. The Company also has a growing involvement in the natural gas transmission and midstream businesses, and is expanding its interests in renewable and green energy technologies including wind and solar energy, hybrid fuel cells and carbon dioxide sequestration. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. Enbridge employs approximately 6,400 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S. ranked as one of Canada's Greenest Employers, and one of the Top 100 Companies to Work for in Canada. Enbridge's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information, visit enbridge.com

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This release was issued by the activists condemning their own action on Enbridge's behalf.

Mar 15, 2011 11:00 ET

Oil Spill Safety Hoax "Irresponsible": Enbridge

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) and its proposed Northern Gateway Pipelines project were falsely associated with a fraudulent oil spill safety campaign entitled “MyHairCares,” announced via mailings to hundreds of hair salons early this month, as well as a phony press release earlier today from “Enbridge Sustainable Initiatives,” and that was reported in several outlets. Enbridge wishes to note that there is no such division, subsidiary, department, or other entity within Enbridge, and that the Company deplores the perpetrators of this act of identity piracy and will vigorously prosecute them, appropriately and to the greatest extent of the law.

“This irresponsible hoax is nothing less than an attack on Canada's resources,” said Patrick D. Daniel, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are saddened that lies are being used to demean the great strides Enbridge has made in delivering Canada's vast natural wealth to the world, strides which will become giant leaps with the Northern Gateway Pipelines.”

“The so-called ‘MyHairCares’ program is a dangerous fraud conducted by environmentalist radicals,” said Jennifer Varey, head of Media Relations for Enbridge. “Its aim is to terrorize innocent salon consumers into fearing the Northern Gateway project and thinking our company is less than fully prepared for catastrophe. I can assure you, when inevitable oil spills do occur, we at Enbridge have more up our sleeves than a handful of hair.”

The cleanup operations of the summer and early fall in Marshall, Michigan and Romeoville, Illinois helped improve the Company’s readiness to respond not only to oil spills in themselves, but to the concerns of affected individuals and communities.

“As a Canadian company, Enbridge is committed to the safety of our people, our environment, and our wildlife, wherever they operate,” said Mr. Daniel. “That is why we are hereby committing to a $20 billion liability bond for the Northern Gateway Pipelines. Should an unforeseeable event come to pass, this bond will insure the settlement of all verifiable liability claims made by Northern and coastal communities within legal due process. We believe this will fully address the issue and lay concerns to rest.”

Enbridge had planned to announce the liability bond at the next Enbridge Annual General Meeting, to be held May 11 in Calgary, but this morning’s act of deception unjustifiably highlighted public uncertainty about Enbridge’s preparedness for an emergency, prompting the announcement to be pushed up.

Few oil spills have ever cost more than $20 billion to address.

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipelines project will transport oil from Bruderheim, AB to a port in Kitimat, BC. Specially trained tanker captains, assisted by tugs, will then ferry the oil through the Douglas Channel and from there to Asian and U.S. markets. Click here for an interactive map of the proposal.

Enbridge Inc., a Canadian company, is a North American leader in delivering energy and one of the 2011 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. The Company also has a growing involvement in the natural gas transmission and midstream businesses, and is expanding its interests in renewable and green energy technologies including wind and solar energy, hybrid fuel cells and carbon dioxide sequestration. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. Enbridge employs approximately 6,400 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S. ranked as one of Canada's Greenest Employers, and one of the Top 100 Companies to Work for in Canada. Enbridge's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information, visit enbridge.com

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March 15, 2011

ENBRIDGE HAIR HOAX EXPOSED
Group responsible offers free haircuts at Enbridge HQ at noon

Earlier today, the world learned of oil transport giant Enbridge’s strategy for handling inevitable oil spills along its proposed pipeline through pristine British Columbian wilderness: mop it up with human hair.

The cockamamie “MyHairCares” hoax, dreamed up by former oil workers and involving outreach to over 1000 hair salons, was promoted in a slick Video News Release and involved a flurry of conflicting press releases. The original story ran in a number of major news outlets (archive will be posted shortly here), but was pulled with no retraction or explanation after a terse denial by Enbridge that seemed to miss the point entirely. (For a longer, better denial, written on behalf of Enbridge by the pranksters, click here.)

“This was a funny way to dramatize the fact that neither Enbridge nor any other oil company can prevent spills, and that they basically have no cleanup plan,” said Shannon McPhail, a former Canadian oil worker and Canadian spokesperson for People Enbridge Ruined in Michigan (PERM), the group responsible for MyHairCares. “What's happening in Michigan proves that.”

Between 1999 and 2008 Enbridge recorded an average of more than one oil spill every week. Just last summer, an Enbridge pipeline spilled more than 800,000 gallons of oil into Michigan's Kalamazoo River. Enbridge is expected to face federal criminal charges for neglecting to maintain that pipeline; they are also accused of merely covering up, not actually cleaning up the oil. Further, a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and CBS News found that Enbridge was coercing Kalamazoo spill victims into signing liability waiver forms. “Enbridge is manipulating and exploiting people who trust the company to do the right thing,” said former US Congressman Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., Chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

“We don’t want Canadian rivers or coastlines to end up like the oily mess that Enbridge has left in a number of places around here,” said US PERM spokesperson Rick Smith.

“In the U.S. Enbridge failed to maintain their pipeline, failed to clean up their mess, and are exploiting the victims,” said McPhail. “It would be madness to let them build a pipeline in Canada, especially through one of our planet’s last great wildernesses.”

Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline would cut across the Rocky Mountains, the pristine Great Bear rain forest, and over 1,000 streams and rivers. The pipeline would carry 700,000 barrels a day of petroleum products across 1,170 kilometres between Alberta’s Tar Sands and the Pacific Coast, where supertankers would carry the crude though the treacherous Douglas Channel—an area in which currents render conventional oil containment booms useless.

“A major spill on the coast or in a river would be devastating and irreversible,” said McPhail. “Canada must not trade in our wilderness just to make some foreign oil companies rich.”

One salon owner contacted after the ruse lauded the activists’ approach to getting the media to pay attention to one of the most pressing environmental issues in North America. "I wasn't tricked, I was educated,” said Brian Phillips, owner of World Salon in Toronto. “I had no idea what the people in Michigan were going through with Enbridge. We shouldn’t invite that treatment here in Canada.”

People Enbridge Ruined In Michigan (PERM) cooked up the “My Hair Cares” action with guidance from The Yes Men, as part of the Yes Lab for Creative Activism. Tomorrow, Canadian members of PERM will introduce themselves to the public during a noon press conference in front of Enbridge’s Vancouver offices. Free haircuts will available for all, and all clippings collected then (as well as any clippings mailed in by salons) will be donated to Michigan PERM members still struggling to clean up Enbridge’s mess in their community.

“Enbridge spends millions trying to convince people there's no problem,” noted McPhail. “We had to be a bit clever to compete with that.”

FREE HAIRCUTS: 12 noon PST, 505 Burrard St., Vancouver, CA

VIDEO DOWNLOAD: www.MyHairCares.com

CONTACTS:
Shannon McPhail (Smithers, BC), Canadian PERM spokesperson, 250-842-2494, shannon@kispioxriver.com
Rick Smith (Michigan), US PERM spokesperson: 269-425-1822, permkzoo@gmail.com
Sean Devlin (Vancouver) , The Yes Lab: 778.321.7306, sean@yeslab.org

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