Sunday, January 8, 2012

Item from The Real Story

Ian Reid's blog The Real Story published an important article Saturday Jan 7. Noon Sunday, his entire blog was down to some viewers. This might be a meaningless vagary of the Internet or it might result from something more sinister. In my view, the information written by Ian Reid deserves a wide audience. It is not hard to imagine who might disagree. By early evening, I could again access the article but, in case the problem reappears, I'll leave this here to ensure the article is available. Please readers, spread the link. The article provides important information.
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A year ago Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel announced a new foreign partner for its Northern Gateway Pipeline project.

Daniels told a meeting in Whistler, BC that Sinopec, China’s second largest oil company, was investing an undisclosed amount in the pipeline approval process in return for a guaranteed place on the pipeline and the right to pony up for an equity stake in the $5+ billion project.

Enbridge’s Northern Pipeline project is a dual pipeline designed to deliver tar sands oil to tanker ports in Northern BC for delivery by tanker to refineries in China and other points east. The pipeline approval process starts next month in Kitimat and is estimated to take up to 18 months.

Fast forward a year. An oil industry front group headquartered in the office of Alberta tar sands legal specialists McLennan Ross announces it will be launching an advertising campaign attacking Northern Gateway critics. The front group refuses to disclose its funding source for the ad campaign.

The group, Ethical Oil, was set up by refugees from the Tory war room, Sun News and Prime Minister Harper’s office. It’s ad campaign claims that opponents are serving the energy interests of foreign powers and companies with ethically challenged records.

But here’s a question.

If Ethical Oil’s concern is about supporting oil companies linked to hideous and unethical practices like the oppression of women, terrorism and human rights abuses why are they supporting a pipeline being developed in partnership with some of the most unethical companies in the world?

Sinopec is identified by human rights groups as one of the four worst companies operating in the Sudan. Sinopec’s partnerships with the government provides fiscal support for the Sudanese government’s genocidal military operations. The government depends upon oil revenues from Sinopec – which owns three key Sudanese oil companies – to support its military purchases and campaigns against the South.

Sinopec plays a similar role in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), partnering with one of the most oppressive regimes in the world to develop both offshore and land based oil and gas reserves. Revenues from these operations help pay for the government’s extraordinarily repressive internal security operations.

For this Sinopec in 2008 ‘earned’ the second worst rating for a company operating in emerging markets from RepRisk, a company that assesses reputational risk for commercial and investment bankers and asset managers.

Doesn’t Sinopec’s involvement alone in the Northern Gateway Pipeline make the pipeline just another project of unethical oil? You’d think so. But there’s more.

Just this past week new funding partners have declared their investment in the Pipeline project.

MEG Energy is a Northern Gateway investor partly owned by CNOOC, another Chinese company with a poor human rights record in Burma. According to Wikipedia in 2008 the US Treasury Department asserted that CNOOC was cooperating in a Burmese joint venture with a company run by a Burmese family “linked to heroin trafficking”.

According to the Globe and Mail Sinopec and MEG are joined by two more Chinese companies with appalling environmental and human rights records. According to the Globe, “Market sources have said they believe China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) also holds an interest in Gateway. Sinochem Group, another Chinese energy firm, is also believed to support Gateway.”

According to RepRisk CNPC in particular “has been heavily criticized for its exploration agreements in Myanmar and alleged support for human rights abuses in Sudan, as well as the proposed Pengzhou petrochemical plant and oil refinery in Sichuan province in China, and relations with its controversial subsidiary PetroChina”. In 2008 RepRisk rated CNPC as the company with the 4th worst reputation in the world.

Partnerships with Myanmar and Sudan… links to Burmese heroin traffickers… With this cast of characters partnering in the development of the Northern Gateway, you’d think Ethical Oil would be at the front of the line condemning the pipeline.

That is if you think Ethical Oil’s real purpose is to oppose unethical oil.

If, on the other hand, its real purpose is to front for Enbridge with scurrilous attacks on pipeline opponents…. Well then its actions to date make sense.
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12 comments:

  1. Norm
    The hypocracy of this Ethical Oil promotion by our Government can only serve to damage relationships worldwide and to our neighbors to the south. The arguement that the tarsands is more environmentally freindly or human rights are a priority is absurd.
    I am personally insulted that our Government thinks we are so gullible and stupid that we can for one second believe the exracting of butimen from those sands and the process required to do so while killing innocent people and wildlife can be promoted as ethical in any sense.
    In one swift act of stupidity they have in fact done more harm to Canadians on the world stage than they can imagine. The part that worries me most is that they don't seem to be intelligent enough to understand or see this.
    Canada has now in fact 'isolated' itself from the good intentioned of our world, the credible, to lay in bed with the corrupt and for that we will pay a price.
    Don

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  2. I think The Real Story is back up again Norm.

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  3. Some readers are reporting that Ian's site is available. Using a Telus high speed Internet connection, I cannot load the page, using Chrome, Firefox or IE browsers.

    It is not clear what is going on here but I'll leave Ian's article up and ask readers again to share it widely.

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  4. Hello Norman;

    I have not been able to access Reid's site at all. It seems that some form of skullduggery is afoot. I hope your site is protected.

    Burgess

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  5. I've heard from readers south of the border that The Real Story remains available. I'm left to wonder why the problem is apparent to some and not to others. That suggests the server holding Ian Reid's site is not down but some effort might have been made to block access elsewhere.

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  6. Read Misha Glenny's new book Dark Market, Cyberthieves, Cybercrime and YOU and you'll get an idea of what is going on.

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  7. Thank you for your own great post on this topic. I was able to access Ian's blog on a Telus high speed connection with Mozilla Firefox, but I shared your reposting of it on my facebook anyway. People need to know these facts. I don't know what is more appalling, that so many people I know believe everything our governments are telling us, or that I am convinced I cannot believe any of it.

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  8. Just tried to access Ian's site but not available (high-speed link using a Mac with Safari).

    Thanks for standing together to support other bloggers Norm.

    The only way anyone can fight government oppression is to stand together, not let them pick up off from the herd and silence us individually.

    Seems unbelievable doesn't it, that citizens of Canada are having to band together to protect themselves from their own federal and provincial government. What happened to our country?

    To paraphrase a country classic from years back "When, exactly, did we become third world?" The original was "...white trash".

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  9. I just used a wifi link to my bell phone with an HSPA network using firefox and I had no problems. I've posted Ian's story to my facebook page and my twitter account.

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  10. I'm able to access Ian's site (high speed link, Mac, Mozilla). However, I'm glad you posted it also, Norm. Like Karen (5:46), I also find that many people I know seem disengaged from what is going on. Maybe in some cases it's willful ignorance because it's so disturbing. I grieve for what's happening to my country, but I'm also angry that so many don't seem to care or even notice.

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  11. A quick Google for the blog by name only ( shaw high speed )and the link there worked for me.

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  12. Never had a problem loading any pages using Mozilla with a PC

    Maybe a command prompt to flush the dns would assist; could be a failed update blocking or an add-on.

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