Patrick Daniel, the CEO of Enbridge, knows he’s in trouble.

The leader of the company that wants to build the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to British Colombia to export dirty tar sands, admits that his opponents have “seized control of the debate.”

Daniel is left playing catch-up, trying belatedly to spin a message about safety and the need to bulldoze a pipeline to carry tar sands across indigenous lands, beautiful forests and through a seismically active area.

Speaking on Canadian radio, Daniel complained that “Everything that we say sounds defensive and self-interested, and on the other side, everything they say … is really taken as gospel—and it isn’t.”

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