One of the community organizations spearheading the fight against TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline was planning to confront the company at a public meeting earlier this week, after the New York Times revealed a blueprint for a pseudo-grassroot campaign to support the project.
“We’re shocked and appalled that one of the richest oil companies in the world would plot to attack a small environmental organization working to protect local rivers,” said Ecology Ottawa campaigner Ben Powless. “TransCanada has shown that they’re not interested in addressing concerns about the pipeline, they’re just out to shoot the messenger.”
The plans, produced by global PR giant Edelman and published on a Greenpeace website, “document TransCanada’s intention to use third-party voices to discredit ‘opponents’, including the Council of Canadians, Greenpeace, and Ecology Ottawa, by conducting research, putting pressure on opposition groups, and doing and saying things ‘when TransCanada can’t,’” Ecology Ottawa writes.
Climate Progress reports that Edelman encouraged TransCanada to put pressure on opponents by “distracting them from their mission and causing them to redirect their resources.” Company spokesperson James Millar told the Times that “TransCanada did follow Edelman’s advice to create a network of allies, but that the company had rejected Edelman’s recommendation of using third parties in a campaign against opponents,” Climate Progress notes.