The cover of the August edition of Nation Geographic

Enbridge disapointed but not surprised by negative article in National Geographic

The oil company, Enbridge Inc., says that it is disappointed with an article running in the August edition of famous magazine National Geographic, which examined the debate over the controversial Gateway Pipeline project.

The oil company, Enbridge Inc., says that it is disappointed with an article running in the August edition of famous magazine National Geographic, which examined the debate over the controversial Gateway Pipeline project.

The company says that its “not disappointed by what’s in the article, more by what is not said in the article,” meaning that while the National Geographic spent weeks doing interviews and fact-checking with Enbridge, the magazine decided to leave most arguments out of the

story.

The cover story of this month’s National Geographic is a large article and photos examining the Spirit Bear population surrounding the Hartley Bay area. An accompanying article ran which gave a scathing review of the conflict over the proposed Enbridge pipeline project to carry oil from the tarsands in Alberta and be loaded on to ships in Kitimat.

The article is entitled “Pipeline Through Paradise” and it is short but scathing.

In it, Enbridge comes across  as manipulative, greedy, and indifferent to the concerns and protests of First Nations, environmentalists and other opponents of the pipeline. Direct parallels between the Queen of the North sinking and the pipeline is drawn with a warning of an oil tanker going down just as unexpectedly, and just as easily. One of the things that bothers Enbridge is that their entire side of the argument was reduced to a single quote from Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel.

“We think it is hugely in Canada’s national best interest to have a second outlet for our crude oil,” is all  Daniels says in the magazine.

The oil company says it provided the magazine with information for their story, which they say it chose not to use in the published story, including info they say shows that an accidental spill would not be as disastrous as the story makes it out to be.

“The story would have been a lot more balanced if they had used some of the information we provided which I think would have mitigated some of their concerns,” says Enbridge representative, Paul Stanway.

National Geographic is a magazine that has millions of subscribers all over the globe. For many of its readers this article will be the first time every hearing of the project and the issue’s introduction to a truly international audience is not a positive one. Negative stories from the magazine have already attracted international condemnation to the Alberta tarsands. Local MP Nathan Cullen is hoping for a similar effect.

“This is massive, this is going to go clear round the world to the odd-million people who subscribe to this magazine, The company was hoping to keep concerns about this relatively quiet, but with this kind of exposure going to be a problem for the company, and its going to be a problem for the Federal government” says Cullen.