Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ethical Snake Oil


Alykhan Velshi's wee blog Ethical Oil, named after Ezra's book, has relaunched today with an expensive new look and some spiffy ethical oil pop-up campaign ads to greet you when you enter the site. You can choose either good or evil - you know, conflict oil = woman being stoned to death vs ethical oil = woman becoming a mayor.

Velshi :
"When petroleum reserves were deposited around the world, it is unfortunate that they were all given to the world’s bastards. With the exception of Canada, most of them are with the world’s bastards. You need to recognize that when you are buying oil."
Seems a bit hard on poor old Norway, given recent events, and aren't we launching the Pan European Oil Sands Team, our tarsands PR blitz directed at the EU, from Britain these days?
Also confusing the matter is China's recent investment in tarsands companies - Steve's new bff - and Canadian tarsands companies' own foreign gas and oil plants, inconveniently located in "the world's bastards".

I added the third panel above to one of Velshi's pop-ups because as Senior Suncor VP Mark Little explained last year :
"it’s much more expensive to produce a barrel of oil synthetic crude oil from oil sands than to produce a barrel of conventional oil or gas in either Syria or Libya"
- yes, that's world bastard Syria PM Bashar al-Assad touring Suncor's $1.2 billion Ebla Natural Gas Plant in Syria a year ago -
"So these foreign operations can help provide the near-term cash flow and return on capital needed to invest in long-term growth in the oil sands."
Velshi, former American Enterprise Institute intern and communication director to John Baird and Jason Kenney, told the Globe and Mail that he, however, will not be accepting donations from 'foreign operations":
"I won’t take money from any foreign corporations, any governments.”
Pressed about Canadian corporate donations, he said he wouldn’t refuse any."
Two weeks ago on the site, Velshi was soliciting donations to help him cover the $261 fee he estimated it would cost him to launch an investigation into environmental groups lobbying government :
Help EthicalOil.Org Make an Access to Information Request
"Let’s shine a light on the professional lobbyists paid to lobby the government against ethical oil from Canada, its oil sands, and other liberal democracies. Lobbyists? Yes, that’s right. Opponents of ethical oil have hired professional lobbyists who are now registered with the Office of the Lobbying Commissioner of Canada to lobby senior government officials behind closed doors."
Yes, Alykhan, that's how lobbying works - you register as a lobbyist with the government.

The Globe and Mail makes a small frowny face about whether Velshi is "violating the federal law that forbids former aides from lobbying for five years after leaving government " - as if none of us have noticed the revolving door between government, oil bidness corporations, and federal and Alberta government-funded energy "sciencey"  front groups like the Canada School of Energy and Environment, headed by Steve's former fraudster "mechanic" Bruce Carson, and the Suncor-sponsored National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy .
"Documents released last fall, obtained by Postmedia News, revealed at the time that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government had developed a major public relations partnership involving several federal departments, along with the industry and the Alberta government, to improve the image of the oilsands on the international stage and delay action to slash industrial pollution."
Ethical snake oil.
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Update : Brilliant post from Your Heart's on the Left : Unethical Oil with more alternative oil posters
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Aug 16, 2011 Update : Ethical Oil Campaign Uses Stolen Faked Photos
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2 comments:

Holly Stick said...

Andrew Leach has an interesting post about the Mayor of Fort McMurray not having given permission for her photo to be used:

http://andrewleach.ca/oilsands/fort-mcmurray-mayor-melissa-blakes-on-ethical-oil/

wv = greedi

Ha! ya think?!

josav said...

I would like to say that your blog is well-written and it contains lots of useful and up-to-date information.Oil & Gas Public Relations.

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