Remember Dick Cheney's secretive meetings with his "Energy Task Force" a collection of Big Oil/Gas, Big Coal, and Nuclear executives who transformed their industries' wish lists into a proposed National Energy Strategy? Well right now in Canada under Conservative Party Prime Minister Steven Harper the same sort of skullduggery is going on between Big Oil, Canada's Federal Government, and the Government of the Province of Alberta's (with Premier Ed Stelmach playing Rick Perry to Harper's George Bush)
EXCLUSIVE: Canada says oil, gas industry organized PR strategy for oilsands
OTTAWA — Natural Resources Canada says a powerful oil and gas industry lobby group was responsible for organizing a key meeting and some controversial messaging, in partnership with government, to polish the image of Alberta's oilsands industry.
In newly released emails and internal records, department officials said the strategy to "turn up the volume" and get "the right attitude" on oilsands advocacy was actually proposed by high-ranking officials from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers during a March 2010 meeting involving senior federal and Alberta government officials, as well CEOs from oil and gas companies.
"The meeting was organized by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)," wrote Natural Resources Canada media relations manager Paul Duchesne
The records revealed a flurry of emails sent to the highest levels of government, including the office of Industry Minister Christian Paradis, at the time in charge of Natural Resources, from bureaucrats seeking approval to answer the questions raised by Postmedia News and to publicly explain that the meeting was organized by the industry association.
The advocacy strategy to boost the oilsands industry's image was actively promoted by Bruce Carson, a former senior adviser to Harper, in response to campaigns labelling the Canadian fuel as "dirty oil," and foreign government policies aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carson participated in several meetings with government and industry officials in 2009 and 2010 in his former role as executive director of the Canada School of Energy and Environment, a think-tank based at the University of Calgary that received a $15-million grant announced in the 2007 federal budget.
But Carson, who was still advising Harper's government in 2009, left this position at the school last spring following a controversy over alleged lobbying activities.
These revelations show the stakes for Canadan democracy couldn't be higher. The sheer financial power of Big Oil is putting Canada at risk of becoming a corrupt Petro-State, and joining the ranks of other corrupt Petro-States around the world. But Canada as a corrupt Petro-State would be home to the most environmentally destructive oil extraction project on the planet.
If you can join in the civil disobedience in Washington D.C. to stop the Tar Sands Pipeline please consider doing so. www.stoptarsands.org.