Tuesday, November 18, 2014

UPDATED: The Power of Imagination

I can imagine that giant ball being put to a better use, like capturing the hot air that the oil industry is so adept at spewing out, much more of which seems in the offing.

As reported in today's Star,
TransCanada Corp. plans to browbeat detractors of its ambitious Energy East pipeline with intense pressure so that they are distracted and forced to redirect their resources, according to documents obtained and released by Greenpeace on Tuesday.

These documents — dozens of pages — also describe the company’s public relations strategy, which includes detailed background research into environmental agencies that are opposing the pipeline and hiring “third parties” who will be able to do things when TransCanada cannot.
Among the groups targeted are the David Suzuki Foundation, Equiterre, Avaaz, Ecology Ottawa and the Council of Canadians, all well-known opponents of the potential environmental despoliation the Energy East pipeline represents.

That TransCanada is planning a dirty tricks campaign is strongly suggested by the fact that it has engaged
the U.S. public relations firm Edelman, the largest in the world, to promote the massive oil pipeline project.
As revealed by the CBC,
Edelman suggested a "campaign-style approach" and borrowing tactics from opposing environmental groups that "press their advantage" and successfully use online campaigns to leverage "large and passionate audiences that show a propensity to vote and take other political action."
Part of the strategy being promoted by Edelman seems to be borrowed from the Stephen Harper/Joe Oliver playbook:
It suggests a three-pronged approach — promote the pipeline, respond aggressively to any criticism and apply pressure on opponents using "supportive third parties who can put pressure on, especially when TransCanada can't."

It's the last tactic that bothers Keith Stewart from Greenpeace, who originally obtained the documents. He said Edelman is proposing to discredit opponents to Energy East by using sympathetic allies who are being fed information by TransCanada.

"When they actually try to do it in a sneaky manner, having attacks on their critics being co-ordinated by TransCanada but not putting their name on it, that's where I have a real problem," said Stewart in an interview with CBC.
Too bad TransCanada has gone out of country for this service. I'm sure Harper Inc. would have been glad to lend its well-honed expertise in such matters.

UPDATE: You can read much more about this at DeSmog Canada.

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