My first Blog of 2012! I have wondered if I should take a different approach in 2012. I have been commenting regularly on the convergence of Politics, the Media and Environmental opposition. I am not going to change. Why? Because I think in 2012 there will be an explosive and never-ending series of confrontations about very important issues in the various provinces as well as the national and international stage.
A Presidential election in the USA and the Keystone XL pipeline is right in the middle of the fight. The public hearings by the National Energy Board into the feasibility of the Northern Gateway pipeline linking Alberta and the British Columbia coast may become Canada’s most controversial issue in decades. There are others. In Ontario the debate continues on wind farms, power plants and the approval of new sources of aggregates.
However, one question remains the same. Is the opposition to these projects rational, is it objective, and is it fair? My industry workshop entitled “Winning the War” has a direct message. The approval process, the technical due diligence and the consultation process with affected communities and groups is absolutely necessary and must be the basis for approval of sound and safe projects of any kind. You must pass all these tests, or your project should fail.
However, as I point out, outside this process there is a WAR going on and you better get organized to fight it or you will lose in the world of public opinion. And once you start to lose that war, politicians start to lose their objectivity because re-election has priority, (are you with me President Obama?) and you start to lose the political will necessary to ensure projects of importance get approved. That is just the way it is!
So I will continue to blog on these issues for an important reason. I have some practical experience. I have been there and lost. I spent fourteen years on one of the highest profile, controversial landfill projects in Canada. With international implications, the project was high-jacked three times in the political and environmental world and a world class environmental waste management opportunity was lost. I have a story to tell that I believe may be of value in the important debates mentioned above and others in the wings.
Question: Why did the Chair of the National Energy Board hearings unilaterally extend the hearing for an additional 12 months so “everybody can be heard”? Should “everybody” include every Tom, Dick and Harry from anywhere in the world? By expanding these hearings the Chair handed a “win” to the environmental activists – it’s called DELAY!!! More to come on this.
Question: Why is Joe Oliver of the Ministry of Natural Resources being called out by these environmental groups for saying that they “threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects.” He has both the right and the responsibility to make these statements. More to come on this.
Question: Why are Greenpeace, Forest Ethics, and other similar groups, crying because the lobby group EthicalOil in Calgary is finally fighting back aggressively? Can’t they use some of the same tactics these opposition groups use every day? Much more to come on this.
TRASHED! How Political Garbage Made the United States Canada’s Largest Dump