Elsewhere online
November 18, 2014

PR Firm Urged Pipeline Company to Target Green Activists

An American public-relations agency hired to advise energy company TransCanada urged the firm to spread unflattering information about environmental organizations that have criticized its pipeline projects, according to The New York Times. Edelman, the PR firm, submitted proposals to the Canadian company in May and August detailing plans to conduct opposition research on green groups fighting the firm's Energy East oil pipeline.

The documents, obtained by Greenpeace and confirmed by TransCanada, suggest the fuel company target pipeline critics like the Council of Canadians and the David Suzuki Foundation. TransCanada spokesman James Millar said the company did investigate opponents' claims about the project and followed Edelman's advice to develop a network of supporters to shape the pipeline debate, but it rejected the PR firm's recommendation that it engage third parties in a campaign against nonprofit critics.