Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Enbridge: Northern Gateway Pipeline (2015)

Enbridge Inc. logo
Enbridge has proposed that they want to invest in a 5.5-billion dollar project called the
Northern Gateway Pipeline. This is a project where they plan to build a pipeline that would start in Alberta and extend all the way to the west coast of British Colombia. The project would consist of two pipelines. One of them would be used to transport oil from Bruderheim, Alberta to the port of Kitimat, British Colombia.While this project would create many job opportunities, there are some concerns and ethical issues that go along with this. One of these issues is how these pipelines could spill and create environmental problems. Environmentalists are concerned about how an oil spill could pollute the air, and also nearby lakes that are in are the surrounding regions. It could also effect many rivers in the area, destroy wildlife habitats and release large amounts of green house gasses. Another ethical issues that it posses is that once the oil gets to the coast of British Colombia, it has to be transferred overseas. While making this journey it has to navigate across some rough waters. The ships will have to take the route that passes the Great Bear Rainforest. This is a big issue because Canada’s government has pledged to keep this area safe no matter what the costs is. If a ship were to sink and an oil spill were to happen it would be tough to clean it up because of the rough waters and the narrow channels) Its easy to see how some environmentalists don’t want this pipeline to go through with some things that have happened in Enbridge’s history.

Stakeholders are people who have interest or are affected by the decisions made by Enbridge. The stakeholders in this specific case that would be the most affected would be environmental organizations because they have the concern and responsibility to do the right thing. If they see something hazardous that could potentially affect the environment they have to say something. For example they have to view possible threats that the oil could bring if a pipe explodes like polluting the air, wildlife habitat, and rivers and streams. The next ones to be affected would be landowners and right-of-way communities. These people will be directly affected because these pipelines would go directly through their property or community. Others who could possibly be affected would be company management, stockholders in the company, and countries who are in need of oil.

The Northern Gateway pipeline drawn on a map
Individualism, according to Milton Friedman says that the only goal that a business has is to profit. While doing this, one must act accordingly to the constraints of the law and abide by all the rules and regulations. The other way of viewing individualism is called “classic individualism.” This is a theory that a person by the name of Tibor Machan thought of. He proposes that the only direct goal in business is to profit and the Primary obligation a businessperson has is to maximize profit. When analyzing individualism, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline fits perfectly because the only goal they wanted to achieve is to make a big profit by sending as much oil overseas and to the United States as possible.

Utilitarianism states that you must maximize happiness in yourself and in other people who are affected by the specific action. Utilitarian ‘s approach is to consider all the benefits and actions for all people who are involved, not for just for a specific company or individual. In this specific case with Enbridge, they do not follow Utilitarianism in the least bit. All Enbridge wanted to do when they were about to build the pipeline was make as much money as possible. Enbridge didn’t care about what anybody thought or making people happy, they just wanted to get oil and a lot of it. In order for this to happen they were about to go through small towns, private property, and uncharted territory. This didn’t make the people, who lived in the small towns happy, nor the environmentalists and the people who owned the private property happy at all.

The Northern Gateway Pipeline
in the process of being built

Immanuel Kant founded Kantianism and its main theme is to focus on rationality and good will. There are four principals of Kantianism and they are respect people, act rational, help others make rational well thought out decision, and act in good will. Kant also talks about how it’s wrong to exploit people for someone’s own advantage. When viewing this theory and relating to this specific case, it is clear that they did not follow this and failed categorical imperative because they were going to use people to get what them wanted. An example of this would be how they were going to use people’s private property to make it better and more convenient for Enbridge. Another example would be how they were going to go through Indian tribal communities to get what they want. This is the same thing they weren’t acting rational or in good will. They were only thinking about themselves and how it would benefit Enbridge in the end.

Virtue Theory

The four main virtues of character are as follows: courage, honestly, temperance, and justice/fairness. The first characteristic is courage. Enbridge showed courage trying to make the company better and also helps Canada’s economic status by trying creating a lot of jobs, but they were going to do it in the wrong way that wasn’t ethical. The second characteristic is honesty. I feel like Enbridge followed the honesty characteristic because they never really lied about anything. They told everybody what they were going to do. People may have disagreed but they never lied about anything. The next characteristic is temperance. This is where Enbridge had to have realistic expectations. I believe they had realistic expectations, but in the end people thought it was to risky to take the chance. The last virtue characteristic is justice. They are represented as quality products, fair practices, and good ideas. There is no doubt they had a good idea trying to create more oil for countries in need and they obviously had quality products they would use during this project that would transfer the oil through these pipelines. The last characteristic is what the lacked in and that is fair practices. As talked about before they weren’t being fair because all they did was care about themselves and try to get rid of whole towns and take advantage of peoples private property. Enbridge almost followed every characteristic but they lacked this last one.
Al Monaco, CEO of Enbridge Inc. since 2012

Justified Ethics EvaluationI think Enbridge had the right intentions. They were trying to better the company first, but they were also trying to make Canada have more economic growth, and this project would be much more than they have seen in a long time. This would create over 1500 more jobs, and the amount of oil they could produce would be much more than the expense of this project. They were trying to find a way to generate there oil more effectively, so they don’t have to keep getting it somewhere else and they can be self-reliant. In these things I feel like they had the right intentions.
There are some things I don’t agree with what they planned to do at all. When Enbridge said they were going to run pipes right through towns and local tribal towns without consent was a little to far. They even said they were going to take bulldozers and just demolish them if they didn’t let the pipes go through. It almost seemed like they had no disregard for people or even the environment at all. It only seemed like they cared for themselves at some points. I agree with what they were trying to do but in some of the ways in which they were trying to do it made no since to me. They could have tried to create alternative routes in order to avoid these towns but they just threatened them instead.

"A "Yes" to Enbridge's Pipeline Is a "No" to Ethics in Canada." The Huffington Post. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.

News, C. (2012, January 11). Northern Gateway pipeline: Benefits vs. concerns. Retrieved October 25, 2015

Northern Gateway: Why environmentalists believe it’s not worth the risk. (2014, June 20). Retrieved October 25, 2015

Northern Gateway: Timeline. (2014, June 17). Retrieved October 25, 2015.

Salazar, Heather. The Business Ethics Case Manual: The Authoritative Step-by-Step Guide to understanding and 
     improving the Ethics of Any Business. Print.

"The Council of Canadians." Enbridge Northern Gateway. Web. 24 Nov. 2015.

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