Alberta Energy Economist Warns Pipeline Companies ‘Landowners more powerful when they communicate

Posted on 24 Sep 2013 by admin

Look at it as a sign of the times. As the pipeline boom continues across the Prairies, Canada, and North America, corporate media has struggled to cover the story.

Which means most pipeline news has been discussed from the points of view of government, industry, and, predominantly, environmental activists — the people with multi-million dollar public relations budgets, in other words.

Left out of the mainstream conversation for the most part has been the people who live and work with pipelines in their backyards: farmers, ranchers, and other rural residents.

That may be changing. Not only did the CBC deign to acknowledge landowners in a sizeable story on the pipeline boom, but they quoted a prominent mainstream pipeline pundit and university professor to boot.

Andrew Leach is an economist at the University of Alberta. We think he has a pretty good handle on the situation:

Andrew Leach, an energy and environmental economist at the University of Alberta, said that’s a “more reasonable approach.”

Leach took pipelines off his course list a few ago. Now pipelines are back. ”It’s all we talk about in my classes.”

Leach said landowners are more aware and plugged in and companies have to take that into account.

“The companies are learning that landowners are more powerful when they communicate,” Leach said. “They can expect more opposition from people who never even thought about pipelines.”

We certainly concur re: the power of communications. Calls to the Regina headquarters of the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowners Associations (CAEPLA) have more than doubled from this time last year. And you can help too, by letting your friends, neighbours, and associates know they can keep abreast of pipeline news right here at the Pipeline Observer!

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