New Brunswick — “No one has a stronger interest than we do in ensuring the safety of our pipelines and the protection of the environment,” states energyeastpipeline.com, and while this cannot possibly be accurate, the company’s recent advertisement video is calming enough to effectively placate New Brunswickers and set their fears to rest.
According to the ad — which plays so frequently on so many platforms that most New Brunswickers will see it an average of 24 times daily — the $2.4-billion investment will provide “…a safe and reliable supply of Western crude oil to the Irving refinery in Saint John.” Though most New Brunswickers normally rely on environmentalists backed by solid science for their climate-related information and distrust anything advocating for the Irving refinery, the ad is enough to cause them to throw caution to the wind and endorse the pipeline project with gusto.
“Before I saw the ad, I had my reservations about the whole thing,” said Saint John resident Monica Hamm. “I even had one of those signs in my window saying ‘Energy East: Our Risk, Their Reward,’ but let me tell you, as soon as I heard those soothing guitar tunes and saw those rolling vistas, I was convinced. Bring on the pipeline!”
“What’s more, it’s all backed by the very highest environmental standards,” the voice in the ad says vaguely and beautifully. While New Brunswickers have no idea whose standards those are or what this even means, the ad is just do damned lovely that it’s not possible to dispute.
“The ad says they’re trying to ‘mimimize the project’s impact’ while showing a kid riding a bike,” said Monctonian Frank Jefferson. “Ordinarily that phrase would start alarm bells ringing in my head, but I’ll be damned if the ad doesn’t look nice,” he said, scratching his temple. “And I don’t even care that the video talks about jobs and money repeatedly without going into specifics of how it’s environmentally responsible — they show a nice time-lapse of some farmers looking at their fields … and that just says ‘New Brunswick’ to me.”
Even though the pipeline will release massive amounts of carbon from the tarsands in Alberta and is a climate disaster waiting to happen, the ad features dreamy shots of Premier Brian Gallant looking hopeful and confident — and this is good enough for New Brunswickers. Premier Gallant himself has said hazily that “there is such an important push on safety in the industry,” so New Brunswickers are almost able to forget that bottom line is the single driving factor behind the project.
“Put it all together, and Energy East adds up to a strong future for New Brunswick and its communities,” boasts the ad, a slow-motion shot of kids playing soccer on a lush green field in the background.
“Now that’s solid math!” exclaimed University of New Brunswick economics professor Rick Quigley. “The video says the pipeline will create more than 2,300 jobs during construction and up to 6,300 at its peak. Normally I’d wonder something like ‘But at what cost to the landscape and to future generations,’ but then they showed images of contented, engaged workers building the thing… well, it’s won me over.”
The advertisement ends with the friendly slogan, “We want to be more than just a pipeline company, so we work hard to be a trusted neighbour” — and the mellow acoustic guitar proves that beyond a doubt.
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