If you haven’t signed up to follow Vivian Krause on Twitter, you really should. This week she continued to expose the roots of the extreme environmental opposition to Alberta oilsands and those who fund it.
The main thing those of us who support the energy sector and pipeline construction need to understand is that we are 10 years and half a billion dollars behind in the public opinion campaign to win over hearts and minds in support of energy development.
LISTEN: Vivian Krause explains what she’s found about campaigns targeting Kinder Morgan
Environmental groups – backed by the U.S.-based Tides Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and other well-endowed U.S. funds – met in 2008 to hatch a strategy, called the Tarsands Campaign, to landlock Alberta oil and prevent it from reaching international markets to fetch international prices.
The most recent manifestation of the anti-tarsands campaign was the green movement’s interference in the 2015 federal election, in a coordinated effort to defeat Conservatives in 25 out of 29 targeted ridings. It was spearheaded and bragged about by LeadNow.
Now these groups are at it again. All you have to do is track the loudest voices trying to shut down Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline and you will find 350.org. It’s a familiar name; most recently in the news as part of the bizarre New York City press conference that launched a lawsuit trying to pin the blame for Hurricane Sandy on five oil companies.
But 350.org was also one of the groups that coordinated to issue a laudatory press release after the B.C. NDP government announced its plan to restrict bitumen coming into B.C.
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Krause has just discovered where 350.org got their funding, from their most recent 2016 U.S. annual return. Most of it came from massive donations from just four sources: $4 million from one donor, $3 million from another and two others for $500,000.
Why should we care who 350.org is? Because they are behind the latest campaign targeting the oilsands – called the KM Action Hive Proposal.
The Hive is “a coalition of organizations and grassroots groups, organized to provide support for and share information about mass, creative and non-violent direct actions.” The Swarm is “activists, small groups and the general public involved in mass actions that sign on to the action agreements (to be decided by the initial Hive) and require support.” The purpose of it all is to “support mass popular resistance to construction of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.”
Will we never learn? The so-called grassroots environmental movement is the furthest thing from being grassroots. It is a big money campaign that is designed to control domestic political decisions for the benefit of foreign interests. And we’re all supposed to be concerned that the Russians are trying to influence our elections by buying ads on Facebook? I think the foreign roots of green activism is a much greater threat to Canadian democracy.
Danielle Smith can be reached at email@example.com