by Tina Olivero

    7 Questions That Can Transform The Energy East Pipeline

    Much of the information about energy in the main stream social media is not correct. Social media seems to be a meeting ground where self-appointed authorities give opinions that are not necessarily fact but rather opinion.

    Opinions are an interesting concept because opinions come from our past. Think about it, how did we derive our current opinions. Yes, it’s our backgrounds, our cultures, our sexual orientation, our parents, our beliefs, our experiences, our faith, our families, and much more.

    In this context, much of what is opinion can therefore be clearly stated as something we all have and is different from anyone else because no two pasts are the same.

    As human beings, we have differing views—it’s just that simple. There are over seven billion views on the planet and none of them are exactly the same, even if they are looking at the EXACT SAME thing. Take for example the moon. The moon is one thing to a person in Africa, another thing to a person in Arabia, and another thing to a person in America. We all have differing views of the moon. Some scientific, some mystical and some that are related to the calendar year. Whose views are correct?

    Given that we all have differing views how do we all get on the same page with progress and performance in the energy sector? It’s a powerful question. How do we bring opinions into alignment so that they are for the good of all and sustain our energy demand and supply? That seems to be the question of the day.

    What we know for sure is that environmental perspectives clashing with energy developers is not the answer—been there, done that. Something much bigger is requesting to come in.

    In this era of energy and education we are called to have higher conversations. Consider these questions:

    1. What if more conscious viewpoints and more collaborative efforts were the foundation of our talks?

    2. What would it take for us to share voices and concerns but only if solutions were offered?

    3. What about focusing on the facts—things that are quantifiable and measurable?

    4. What about being responsible for how we talk about our challenges and tell stories that people connect with, rather than bore people to death with dense technical jargon?

    5. What would happen if we had an understanding of the big picture?

    6. What would happen if we started on the same page, rather than making each other wrong?

    7. Everything is generated from conversation. What if we had meetings of the minds that united our views and allowed us to have conversations where our concerns were heard and responded to?

    With those seven questions answered, I can’t help but wonder what would be available to our energy progress with the earth in mind?

    As we collaborate and come to learn more and be more from each other, it is here that opinions merge rather than differ. Conversation and collaboration is where we ultimately find out that we have very similar goals in mind and start to head in the same direction and that’s exactly what needs to happen with The Energy East Pipeline. The Energy East Pipeline is an opportunity for those with differing views to listen, learn, understand, connect and collaborate.

    The Energy East Pipeline infrastructure project will create thousands of jobs for Canadians while reducing our use of foreign oil in this region. Project owner, TransCanada is a catalyst in the creation of a stronger, more secure Canada that will contribute more than $36 billion in economic growth over the next 27 years if it goes ahead. Is this important to us?
    Energy East Pipeline is the possibility of a stronger economy, a more secure future as the pipeline will create approximately 14,000 direct and indirect jobs in the first seven years of the project and will provide more than $7.6 billion in tax revenues to the federal, provincial, and local governments involved. Ultimately, this translates into more funds made available for Canadian schools, roads, and other public services. Is this important to us?

    TransCanada is committed to establishing the Energy East Pipeline with a focus on the safety of Canadians and the protection of our environment. In fact, I don’t know any other industry people who understand environment and safety more than those of the energy players I’ve met in the last 23 years of my energy career. The people in the energy industry who work in it day in and day out are more concerned about the environment by virtue of being in the business itself.

    Pipelines today, remain the safest, most efficient and most environmentally friendly mode of transporting energy across the continent. As with all energy mega projects, the Energy East project includes strong environmental protection to ensure the outcomes are those we desire. The pipeline predominantly uses infrastructure that is already in place, lessening the impact this project will have on the environment and seventy percent of the pipeline is already underground, mitigating risk.

    So where does that lead us? Do we need heat for our homes, fuel for your cars or energy for our iPhones? Is it time to collaborate, be creative and come together with solutions and new possibilities? Can the environmentally- conscious collaborate with the energy conscious? Yes, I think so….but then again, that’s just my opinion!

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