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Wed, 2010-06-30 14:23Kevin Grandia
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Canadian oil lobby trying to kill US clean energy policy

Who knew the tentacles of the Canadian oil lobby could reach all the way down to Washington, DC?

And who knew they were so powerful?

I am sure many Americans will find it rather disturbing that a foreign entity (no matter how friendly they may be - full disclosure: I am Canadian) is holding so much sway over the clean energy future of their country.

In a lengthy and well-researched new expose on the Canada oil sands industry’s lobbying activities in Washington, DC, reporter Geoff Dembicki untangles a complicated web that includes former Republican insiders, dirty energy front groups and powerful politicians on both sides of the border that are doing their best to kill US clean energy legislation.

Take former Republican Congressman Tom Corcoran for instance. Ironically, Corcoran was born in Ottawa, Illinois which shares its name with Ottawa, Ontario the capitol of Canada. It seems a little Canadian patriotism has rubbed off on Corcoran because he is now working on behalf of that country’s oil sands lobby and against clean energy for his own country.

Wed, 2010-06-30 11:25Kevin Grandia
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Help save oily US Senators from themselves [funny video]

This is a copy of a funny, and what I suspect will be very successful, TV ad campaign targeting US Senators opposed to the new proposed clean energy and climate change legislation. No surprise that those politicians most opposed to the legislation are paid the most by the oil and coal companies.

Check it out and pass it around:

Tue, 2010-06-22 11:19Kevin Grandia
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Who are the spindoctors behind the attack on Gasland?

Last night the award-winning documentary Gasland got a big bump in profile when it was aired on HBO.

And by the looks of the PR attack campaign launched today, it looks like Gasland is starting to get under the skin of the oil and gas industry.

I guess the dinosaurs in the dirty fuel lobby don’t like videos of people who can light their tap water on fire after their wells are contaminated with methane gas, like this:

Mon, 2010-06-14 14:02Kevin Grandia
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The Inside Scoop on the "Climate War"

The first question I had for author Eric Pooley after I finished reading his new book, The Climate War, was whether he had set up hidden cameras all over Washington, DC.

He didn’t of course, but the insider information he weaves into his story about the ongoing battle for effective climate policy both in the United States and internationally will make even the insiders feel inadequate.

The Climate War puts you at the power-broker’s table, with much of the book following two main characters who have been at the center of the debate and the controversy around climate policy for more than a decade - Fred Krupp, Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund and Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy.

Both Krupp and Rogers are polarizing figures within the climate advocacy community, with Krupp being accused of “selling out” to the big corporate machine and willing to accept inadequate policy fixes and Rogers being accused of greenwashing the company he heads which is one of the largest electrical generation companies in the United States.

Krupp and Rogers act as the central characters and around them Pooley wraps the history of how we have gotten to where we are today on the issue of climate change, ending with the failure to come to an international climate treaty in Copenhagen, Denmark in late December, 2009.

We learn more about the “deniers” and the corporate flaks that back them, like Myron Ebell at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who toasted a crowd with Fiji Water because,

“It comes to you direct from Fiji, so it’s very energy inefficient: the only thing that could improve it would be to carbonate it.

Mon, 2010-05-17 11:52Kevin Grandia
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Fossil Fuel Industry's 65-Page Strategy to Sell Carbon and Capture Technology

A report shows how the coal, oil and tar sands industry, along with government plans to sell carbon and capture and storage technology to a skeptical public.

The 65-page report titled, Communication of carbon capture and storage: outcomes from an international workshop to summarize the current global position [pdf], was produced by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage (GCCS) Institute, an organization formally launched by US president Barack Obama and Australian president Kevin Rudd at the 2009 G8 summit.

Communications recommendations for selling carbon capture and storage in the report include:

“…when multiple stakeholders join forces to communicate a message the message is more likely to be well received and trusted, particularly if those communicating the messages are generally known to have opposing views. For example, when NGOs team up with industry partners…”

“Within each community there are various audiences that need to be considered, particularly for targeting engagement processes and key messages.”

Members of the GCCS Institute include major coal producers and Canada tar sands operators who have the most to gain by selling the idea that carbon capture and storage can work on a commercial scale, including Enbridge, ConocoPhilips, Duke Energy, Arch Coal and the Integrated CO2 Network.

While billions of dollars continue to be invested in carbon capture and storage technology, it remains little more than a pipe-dream that industry will find a way to capture and store greenhouse gases at the level needed to significantly reduce worldwide emissions and avoid the most devastating effects of climate change.

H/T to Geoff Dembicki at The Tyee for this story.

Fri, 2010-05-14 15:55Kevin Grandia
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The video most likely to make you want to take a shower

I am not sure if we ever posted this on DeSmog, but here is the interview Rachel Maddow did with Tim Philips on MSNBC.

Here’s our backgrounders on Tim Philips, Americans for Prosperity and their major donor Koch Industries that just so happens to be the largest private oil company in the United States:

Americans for Prosperity: history, background and research

Koch Industries and George Mason University

Koch Industries holdings and investments

Koch Industries lobbying activities

Once you’ve read all of that you can watch this video Smile

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