Hot Topic Thursday – Why should I defend pipelines?

(Almost everyone has seen this photo or a version of it, why? Because one side of the debate seems to be more interested in winning it!)

I have to put up with a lot of negative comments hurled at me because I live in Calgary

“We don’t want our oceans turned into a dilbit swamp” says a BC resident protesting the pipelines, he’s not alone. (Dilbit referring to Diluted Bitumen)

The BC “green protestors” certainly have made their buzz-words stick… “tar sands” used by many including Green Peace have made it to the mainstream as the pipeline debate rages on and seems to be hitting a fever pitch with the latest shot across the bow from Notley to the BC wine industry.

So, what do CEO’s and executives from Calgary have to say about all this negativity towards Alberta’s biggest industry and the biggest job creator in the province?? Honestly, I have no idea.

Today I’m sending an open letter to these same executives – I feel your doing a terrible job in winning, heck, forget winning, even participating in the court of public opinion. Maybe that’s strategic, I don’t know, but it’s hard to take.

Why do I bother defending Alberta Oil?

I worked for the oil industry for years and have them to thank for my work experience for almost the last decade:

I defend my industry brothers and sisters when “hippies” blindly hurl insults toward the industry and it’s future. I know I’m certainly not alone. Alot of my friends and family members have to defend Alberta Oil every once in a while.

It’s a unique spot to be in, Do many Auto-workers in Ontario get yelled at for putting another gas-guzzler on the road?? Not sure…. Do BC lumber mills get terrorized by greenpeace for pillaging the land?? Maybe… How ’bout my East coast chums for decimating the lobster population… *sorry for the stereotype, but I needed a 3rd thing!

You get my point, these employees of Alberta Oil Sands are literally your friends and neighbors, and protesters are basically treating them like they’re personally responsible for shooting a polar bear…

Where are the leaders and their voices to defend their own industry, and people!

My point today is this, when Albertan’s feel that they’re almost fighting the public relations battle WITHOUT the support of the actual companies they’re EMPLOYED BY (I mean jeez lauise, Rachel Notley now looks like a bigger pipeline advocate than the companies themselves!) then WHY are we defending it at all? I mean, our people and politicians are blaming Trudeau for not standing up to B.C. environmentalists, which, ok fair enough, but where are the business leaders in the industry itself?? It took a bar owner in Fort Mac to make a statement? Come on.

I won’t name them by name, mostly because I don’t want to get sued, but I haven’t seen any real positive public engagement from any of the “Big Oil” Companies based in Alberta. Most of them will only make a statement on their “limits to future investments” on the companies earnings conference calls. (That’s stock market speech for possible layoffs, and no new construction).

Heck, one doesn’t even “live” in Alberta anymore (You can google that one, readers)

Leadership obviously comes from the top down, so when those at the bottom are getting yelled at and spit on (Hopefully only metaphorically), there is going to be a point where they may want to stop defending their industry, period.

If the guys and gals at the top of the Alberta Oil Industry don’t want to fight to change perception, expect a lot more mud to be thrown at the people at the bottom! Did I say mud? I meant dilbit sludge!

That’s your Hot Topic Thursday,

Cheers,

Kelly Hall

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[…] I mentioned the other day, I wanted Energy Exec’s to be more vocal in what’s happening to the industry as the […]

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[…] been done to Alberta’s Oil and Gas reputation across the world markets. Alberta Oil Sands (or “TAR SANDS” as the Canadian and Albertan Politicians and the general public have labeled one of Canada’s […]

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