North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

OCT 2018

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines covers the news shaping the business of oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance in North America, including pipeline installation methods, integrity management innovations and managerial strategies.

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Page 18 of 43 OCTOBER 2 018 | North American Oil & Gas Pipelines 19 munity engagement, public forums and other avenues. Creating jobs, however, is not the only benefit that pipeline projects provide, says Eben Wyman, principal at Wyman Associates, a government relations firm based in Washington, D.C., which has served DCA as its client since 2012. "We must make the case that these projects do more than create jobs," he says. "That's important, and it's one of the industry's strongest arguments, but there's also a need for them. I would point to the bottleneck we're experienc- ing in the Northeast. Boston is not get- ting enough energy, so they bought natu- ral gas from Russia. You could make the case that that's a national security issue." The biggest thing that Wyman says industry stakeholders must do is "show up and do their part to persuade feder- al, state and local officials that we need more pipelines." While DCA has been involved with efforts to reform the pipeline permit- ting process and other federal issues, Wyman stresses the importance of at- tending local townhall forums in sup- port of projects. Aydt believes commu- nity events also provide opportunities for pipeline advocacy. "Social media, community engage- ment, government lobbying and public education are all important," Aydt says. "MPL works to share the advocacy and educational messages within its exist- ing public engagement efforts. We have booths at state fairs, sponsor landowner focus groups and picnics at various ven- ues, and make multiple presentations to residents, schools and communities on pipeline safety, energy advocacy and other important messages." Misinformation Super Highway Misinformation represents one of the biggest challenges to winning the argument in favor of pipelines, says Stuart Saulters, policy advisor at API for its downstream and industry opera- tions division. "There are a lot of opinions out there," he says. "That's good. I'm not saying so- cial media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are bad, but there are a lot of false messages coming at us." To combat these messages, Saulters says the pipeline industry must engage "the right audience with the right mes- sage through the right avenues." While the API and other groups have created commercials and other campaigns to reach the public, the industry must go a step further. "We have to educate our neighbors, so they're not always hearing directly from industry stakeholders. If your neighbors and friends tell you that energy is good, you're more likely to believe it. We're trying to push back against all the nega- tive messaging and make sure the mes- sage of positive pipelines is heard." One way to combat misinformation, Voice

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