Thursday, November 20, 2014

Why Is TransCanada Playing Hardball with Environmentalists?

Energy East Pipeline (Graphic Credit: Paul Horn/InsideClimate News) Click to enlarge.
After TransCanada proposed its Energy East tar sands pipeline, the energy giant tapped the world's largest public relations firm to help blunt opposition—the kind that upended its Keystone XL project.

More than 50 pages of leaked campaign strategy documents from PR firm Edelman show the energy company desperate to confront and overcome organized resistance to tar sands development mounted by environmentalists and other activists.  Energy East would open a massive artery for the flow of tar sands oil to Canada's eastern coast and abroad.

This week Greenpeace provided the documents to InsideClimate News and other media. The documents from May to August 2014 identify "new realities" facing companies looking to develop major pipelines in North America.  These includes a "permanent, persuasive, nimble and well-funded" opposition that frames all new development projects in the context of climate change, and that is aiming for a world free of fossil-fuel pollution.

Edelman advised TransCanada to build its own grassroots network of pro-pipeline advocates and to set up a team to react rapidly—within 60 minutes—to negative reports, in a war-like response effort.  Efforts would involve more than 60 people.

Read More at Why Is TransCanada Playing Hardball with Environmentalists?

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