Tagged: Oil industry

Oil industry

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.

Selected press:

Read more

Talk about truth in advertising.

A day-long comedy of errors, and Chevron's waking nightmare, began when Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, together with the Yes Lab, pre-empted Chevron's multi-million dollar “We Agree” ad campaign with a satirical version of their own. The activists' version highlights Chevron's environmental and social abuses—especially the toxic mess the oil giant has left in Ecuador, which Chevron has been attempting to “greenwash” for years.

The activists' pre-emptive campaign began with a press release from a spoof Chevron domain, which launched the fake “We Agree” site hours before the real Chevron could launch its own, real campaign. The fake “We Agree” site featured four “improved” advertisements, complete with downloadable PDF files to be used in on-the-street postering. (There are now hundreds of such printable advertisements, as well as a whole associated wheatpasting contest.)

Nine hours later, after issuing its own “We Agree” press release, the real Chevron decried the hoax in a predictably curt and humorless manner. Shortly thereafter the counter-campaign issued a much better denial on Chevron's behalf, laying out Chevron's principal arguments in its Ecuador case. Throughout the course of the day a slow vaudeville unfolded on the web, as a number of press outlets, from industry mouthpieces to the AFP and even a watchdog group, produced accidental mash-ups of “real” and fake information.

On the heels of this PR smackdown, the groups announced an online contest for submissions of print, web, and even tv ads further satirizing Chevron's blatent greenwashing. Hundreds of submissions poured in and were posted in online, and were wheat pasted in cities nationwide, effectively derailing the shiny new $50 million campaign. (One video, submitted by the comedy troupe Funny or Die, cracked up online legions, as did a large number of print submissions.)

Chevron's plan for the “We Agree” offensive was first leaked to Amazon Watch, when ecologist blogger Lauren Selman received a casting call to appear in one of Chevron's new split-screen television ads. Selman used the information she gathered to help Amazon Watch, the Rainforest Action Network, and the Yes Men pre-empt Chevron's insulting PR campaign. (Read Selman's blog post here.)

Another leak came shortly after, when Chevron's ad agency, McGarryBowen, asked DC street artist César Maxit if he could help wheat-paste the new Chevron posters. Instead, Maxit sent the Chevron files to the Rainforest Action Network and helped build their campaign. (See video here.)

The activists' continuing efforts ensured that Chevron's PR strategy backfired severely, as media about the action highlighted Chevron's embarrasing and atrocious environmental and human rights record. That was exactly the point, said the activists: to raise public awareness around Chevron's abuses in Ecuador and elsewhere, and ultimately force Chevron to do something about them.

See ChevronThinksWereStupid.org for an archive of amazing posters submitted by users in response to our contest call. Below are three of the original ones.

Selected press:

Read more

Chevron has added a news release to its Investor Relations website.
Title: Chevron Deplores Subterfuge, Investigates Options
Date(s): 18 October. 2010
For a complete listing of our news releases, please click here

Chevron Deplores Subterfuge, Investigates Options

SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Earlier today, a group of environmentalists cyber-posing as Chevron officials illegally spoofed Chevron's just-launched “We Agree” advertising campaign, confusing reporters (link). While such a campaign does exist, its official URL is Chevron.com/weagree. The advertisements released earlier today, at Chevron-weagree.com, were an elaborate subterfuge and must not be mistaken as real.

“Chevron does not take this attack lightly,” said Hewitt Pate, General Counsel for Chevron. “We invest extremely heavily in our campaigns, and we take them extremely seriously. Such actions can never be tolerated.” Though the exact cost of “We Agree” must remain confidential, Chevron routinely spends $90 million per year on US advertising alone.

Pate also noted that the environmentalists have made libellous allegations regarding Chevron's record and obligations in Ecuador and beyond. “Despite what some will say, we are not obliged to abide by decisions that Ecuadorian judges make or do not make. This is because we have binding agreements with the Ecuadorian Government exempting us from any liabilities whatsoever, granted in exchange for a $40 million cleanup of some wells by Texaco in the 1990s.”

“We have always upheld the best values of every country to which we are attached,” added Pate.

“This hoax is part of an ongoing effort to blame Chevron for 18 billion gallons of toxic waste dumped in the Amazon during drilling operations,” said Rhonda Zygocki, Chevron vice president of Policy, Government and Public Affairs. “This blame game continues despite Chevron's long-standing agreement with the Ecuadorian government which very obviously puts the issue behind us.”

For further information please visit Chevron's official press page. For more information about Chevron please visit www.Chevron.com.

 

Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Information for the Purpose of "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Some of the items discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements about Chevron. Words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "targets," "projects," "believes," "seeks," "schedules," "estimates," "budgets" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. The statements are based upon management's current expectations, estimates and projections; are not guarantees of future performance; and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the company's control and are difficult to predict. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include the ability of the company to divest nonstrategic assets and realign business units according to plan; the length of time required to complete all activities related to the sale; changes in prices of, demand for and supply of crude oil, natural gas and petroleum products; actions of competitors; potential disruptio n or interruption of the company's operating activities due to war, accidents, political events, civil unrest or severe weather; government-mandated sales, divestitures, recapitalizations and changes in fiscal terms or restrictions on scope of company operations; and general economic and political conditions.You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this news release. Unless legally required, Chevron undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE: Chevron Corporation

 


If you are unable to click on the links above, please copy and paste the URL below into a web browser
http://chevron-press.com/breaking

Read more

Chevron has added a news release to its Investor Relations website.
Title: Radical Chevron Ad Campaign Highlights Victims
Date(s): 18 October. 2010
To view this release on the web, please click here

Radical Chevron Ad Campaign Highlights Victims
By honestly featuring oil industry misdeeds, Chevron "We Agree" campaign scores ad industry first

SAN RAMON, Calif., Oct. 18, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) has announced a new global advertising campaign aimed at showing Chevron as a "real people" corporation, and admitting to problems that companies usually try to hide.

"We want the world to know that we're just like you and me," said Chevron Vice Chairman George L. Kirkland. "We've got problems and challenges, and we too make mistakes, but we're telling truths no one usually tells, and looking wide-eyed into the future."

The candid advertising campaign, created by award-winning long-time Chevron ad partner McGarryBowen, features real people on the receiving end of Chevron controversies in Ecuador, Nigeria, the U.S. Gulf Coast and elsewhere. Each print ad is designed with an authentic pop-culture street-art aesthetic, and features a sincere slogan followed by a big red "We Agree" stamp, the signature of Chevron executives, and the Chevron logo.

"Chevron is making a clean break from the past by taking direct responsibility for our own actions," said Rhonda Zygocki, Chevron vice president of Policy, Government and Public Affairs.

"Oil Companies Should Clean Up Their Messes," reads one ad; the small print refers candidly to the damage done by oil companies around the world. "For decades, oil companies like ours have worked in disadvantaged areas, influencing policy in order to do there what we can't do at home. It's time this changed."

Another ad, "Oil Companies Should Fix The Problems They Create," is just as topical. "Extracting oil from the Earth is a risky process, and mistakes do happen. It’s easy to pass the blame or ignore the mistakes we’ve made. Instead, we need to face them head on, accept our financial and environmental responsibilities, and fund new technologies to avoid these mistakes in the future."

"We were asked to show an agreeable, involved, of-the-people face for Chevron, and we think we came up with some really great ways of doing that," said Gordon Bowen, Chief Creative Officer of McGarryBowen. "But what’s unique and different here is the honesty. We've never been able to do this before."

"We're telling truths no one usually tells," said Zygocki. "We're changing the way the whole industry speaks."

"BP's response to the Gulf tragedy was widely perceived as perfunctory and insincere," noted Bowen. "Chevron has big problems too, like in Ecuador - but they're really stepping up to the plate."

The "We Agree" campaign is an evolution of Chevron's "Power of Human Energy" campaign, which launched in 2007 with a series of print, online, broadcast and outdoor ads that all sought to raise awareness and encourage discussion about the major issues facing the energy industry. Though the exact cost of "We Agree" remains confidential, Chevron routinely spends $90 million per year on US advertising alone.

"‘We Agree’ conveys that Chevron is all for people," said Zygocki.  "Just as ‘We’ is inclusive, so Chevron is inclusive. It’s time we were on the side of people, no matter where those people are from."

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies. The company has about 58,000 employees, and Chevron's subsidiaries conduct business in approximately 180 countries. Chevron operates across the entire energy spectrum - exploring for, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas; refining, marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products; generating power; designing and marketing large-scale energy efficiency solutions; and commercializing the energy resources of the future, including biofuels and other renewables. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif.

Please visit http://www.chevron-weagree.com for more on the "We Agree" campaign. More information about Chevron is available at http://www.chevron.com.

Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Information for the Purpose of "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Some of the items discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements about the sale of Chevron's interest in the Colonial Pipeline Company.Words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "targets," "projects," "believes," "seeks," "schedules," "estimates," "budgets" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. The statements are based upon management's current expectations, estimates and projections; are not guarantees of future performance; and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond the company's control and are difficult to predict. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include the ability of the company to divest nonstrategic assets and realign business units according to plan; the length of time required to complete all activities related to the sale; changes in prices of, demand for and supply of crude oil, natural gas and petroleu m products; actions of competitors; potential disruption or interruption of the company's operating activities due to war, accidents, political events, civil unrest or severe weather; government-mandated sales, divestitures, recapitalizations and changes in fiscal terms or restrictions on scope of company operations; and general economic and political conditions.You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this news release. Unless legally required, Chevron undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE: Chevron Corporation

Chevron Corporation
Giles Vechny
415-763-8916
investor-relations@chevron-press.com

 


If you are unable to read the above, please copy and paste the URL below into a web browser
http://chevron-press.com/article/Radical-Chevron-Ad-Campaign-Highlights-Industry-Problems/

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2010

Massive Chevron Ad Campaign Derailed, Media Slapstick Follows
News outlets, citizens duped by web of deceit - but whose?

A day-long comedy of errors began Monday morning when the Yes Men, supported by Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, pre-empted Chevron's enormous new “We Agree” ad campaign with a satirical version of their own. The activists' version highlights Chevron's environmental and social abuses - the same abuses they say Chevron is attempting to “greenwash.”

“Chevron's super-expensive fake street art is a cynical attempt to gloss over the human rights abuses and environmental degradation that is the legacy of Chevron's operations in Ecuador, Nigeria, Burma and throughout the world,” said Ginger Cassady, a campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. “They must think we're stupid.”

“They say we're 'interrupting the dialogue,'” said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men, referring to Chevron's terse condemnation. “What dialogue? Chevron's ad campaign is an insulting, confusing monologue - with many tens of millions of dollars behind it.”

The activists' pre-emptive campaign began early Monday with a press release from a spoof Chevron domain, which launched the fake “We Agree” site hours before the real Chevron could launch its own, real campaign The fake “We Agree” site featured four “improved” advertisements, complete with downloadable PDF files to be used in on-the-street postering.

Nine hours later, after issuing its own “We Agree” press release, the real Chevron decried the hoax in a predictably curt and humorless manner. Mere moments later, the counter-campaign issued a much better denial on Chevron's behalf, laying out Chevron's principal arguments in its Ecuador case. “We have binding agreements with the Ecuadorian Government exempting us from any liabilities whatsoever, granted in exchange for a $40 million cleanup of some wells by Texaco in the 1990s,” the spoof press release crowed, absurdly yet accurately.

Throughout the day, a sort of slow vaudeville unfolded on the web, as a number of press outlets, from industry mouthpieces to the AFP and even a watchdog group, produced accidental mash-ups of “real” and fake information.

First, Fast Company fell for the hoax (archived article here), then related their duping with humor. An outlet called “Environmental Leader,” quoted indiscriminately from both real and fake press releases, before quietly removing the fake parts a few hours later (original article archived here).

Shortly after that, Energy Digital, an online source providing “news and information for Energy Executives” (capitalization theirs), quoted extensively (archive here) from the fake release to describe Chevron's campaign, then mentioned that the campaign had “already been spoofed.” They didn't realize they'd just fallen for that very same spoof.

Even the AFP found itself duped (original article archived here). It described with glee the hoax “that appeared to have fooled some news outlets,” before going on to quote “the real firm” at length. (The “real firm” wasn't.)

Nor were industry watchdog groups immune. “Oil Watchdog” dissected the hoax minutely and accurately, before citing Advertising Age as one of the outlets duped. That whole article, however, was a fake.

“If you really want to snooker the media, it's pretty hard for them to resist,” said Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men. “We cobbled together some fake releases and websites with string and thumbtacks and chewing gum, and we fooled some of the most respectable press in the world.”

“Chevron is doing what we did, a million times over, with a ginormous budget - and it never reveals its subterfuge,” said Bichlbaum. “No wonder the media's full of lies.”

“Yesterday's spoof was a comedy of errors, but what's happening in Ecuador is no joke,” said Mitch Anderson, a campaigner at Amazon Watch. “While Chevron spends tens of millions every year to greenwash their image and fool the media, Ecuadorians continue to die from their toxic legacy."

Yesterday's hoax is just the beginning for the activists. “Stay tuned,” said RAN's Cassady. “There's a lot more to come in the days ahead. We're going to keep Chevron scrambling.”

Read more