The Alberta Energy Regulator designed a website for public transparency on pipeline incidents, but it seems the government agency is causing more harm to an industry already unnecessarily under the microscope due to hype by environmentalists and climate alarmists.
There has been a 44% decrease in pipeline incidents over the last decade and a 3% decrease between 2015 and 2016. But, instead of highlighting that good news, the website shows the safety ratings of all pipeline operators for the past two years and highlights Enerplus and Chinook having the worst ratings with 875,000 and 629,000 litres leaked.
The worst and most poorly depicted part of the site is where pipeline incidents are reported.
That’s because it’s standard practice to report incidents for every 1,000 KM of pipeline, so if a company has had a minor infraction over a small length of pipe, once the conversion is made, that statistic gets blown way out of proportion. That’s the case for small operators like Chinook and Osum – minor leaks over short lengths of pipeline inflate their stats.
Ultimately, industry should take full responsibility but that goes both ways. The AER should also be accountable and transparent when it comes to presenting data to the public.
Did they misrepresent the stats on purpose? No – they do have to operate on a level playing field using consistent calculations for every company in order to be able to make a comparison.
But still, this seems like is a misrepresentation of statistics at the cost of the public reputation of energy companies.