Unethical oil and its friends

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 Responses to Unethical oil and its friends

  1. Dan Schubart says:

    I was going to post on this the other day, but first ran across what Norm Farrell had to say, and couldn’t have said it better. Ditto here. Maybe I’ll just post links, if that’s OK. It’s just so sad that people swallow the lies and hypocrisy and go on watching Dancing With The Stars.

  2. Evan Leeson says:

    Nice work, Ian.

  3. Ian says:

    Norm has done magnificent work on this and other environmental stories. I bow to him.

  4. karen says:

    Wow. This is great. I knew Chinese companies had stakes in that pipeline, but I knew nothing about who they were or what they might be about. I wish I had known this last Thursday when Kathryn Marshall of Ethical Oil was barking on the local early morning CBC program. Thank you very much for the information.

  5. Burgess says:

    Hi there Ian;

    Happy New Year and many more. Was a little worried today as your site seemed to be ‘gone’ from the internet. Glad it came up tonight. So the big money/politicos are in spin mode for the cross BC pipeline eh? Thank you for the research.


  6. Brian says:

    I put this on G+ and on my blog fully accredited of course. good work

  7. Gary Coons says:

    Great followup Ian…
    Fyi …here is something I did about this June 2009…”MLA voices concern over proposed energy alliance” and the ethics of our involvement!
    Note…China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation Limited or Sinopec Limited


  8. Kenn Mclaren says:

    good one Ian;
    There is no doubt that there will be much dicussion of the Northern Gateway and other resource isses in BC over the next couple of years. Your post goes a long way to inform us of just who we are talking about. Pipelines, shipping, mining, what resources, what assessment, First Nations issues, who benefits, who pays: it will be an interesting couple of years here in BC.
    Thanks Ian,

  9. tf says:

    Thanks Ian, great writing.
    I just have to share a link – finally – an opinion on the Vancouver Sun website that pulls the curtain back on the hypocrisy of the Harper spin cycle!
    People are catching up!

  10. Randy Rinaldo says:

    A letter to my representatives in particular United States Senator Bob
    Corker, Tennessee



    “Tax Reform, Entitlement Reform and Deficit Reduction Could Allow
    Economy to “Really Take Off”

    I’m am appalled at the billion-heirs etc and trillions of dollars
    whether “THEY” (dollars) are setting in stagnant bank accounts of the
    collective corporate accounts or banking industry vaults etc that you
    and yours have become so blinded from such a fascist / communist etc
    state of affairs and such a hostage situation while “we” are setting
    down here in our humble positions waiting for yours to release us all
    from our enslavement. I find it contemptible that not so many of those
    who have taken Americans for a ride have yet to pay any penalties and
    now many of those same people have “folks” setting home collecting
    entitlements and would be pointing fingers “DOWN” at those “folks” as
    if they “RULE” the lands! Folks who are being GRANTED entitlements
    don’t do so because they want to but because after you and yous
    allowed the rich and powerful to talk folks for such a ride lending
    money, money and more money that was not a “NECESSITY” such sub-prime
    loans and mortgages etc such unnecessary EVILS to survive have raped
    folks and now will not open the doors to those who would start
    fledgling business and new enterprises and can not afford to do so now
    because of such debt such evil plans of the rich. It is not CLEAR TO
    YOU why their lives depend on such entitlements now and that such
    Vultures” that it was OK to be such financial slobs?

    Why has Washington allowed our national sovereignty to be shipped off
    to the high and mighty who are in my view TRAITORS to America and who
    are the same CLASS who have through manipulation of currency laundered
    through wall street etc and who have through the decades as in how
    many defunct auto manufactures came out of our first great depression?
    ( http://www.answers.com/topic/list-of-defunct-automobile-manufacturers
    ) and do you not think the “MANIPULATORS” know what they are doing?)
    who have monopolized our work places and now hold us all hostages (as
    Jefferson said about merchants who have no country) who are thieves
    and yet you and yours seem to praise that CLASS for such a wonderful
    job and defend those few rights to have done so?

    Is it not this CLASS of people who have stolen American technologies
    and outsourced American jobs to countries (communist, rogue etc) the
    same CLASS who sell America out now and who have profited so GREATLY
    and thereby do not comply with Americas EPA, Labor and human rights
    standards etc because they have contrived to ELUDE THE LAW with
    lawyers tricks and bypass such standards and sell America out to the
    communist etc and then by doing such those goods shipped back to us
    that “we” must now be forced to support communism and dictators who
    would have us all bowing down to the communist etc because we must now
    buy cheaply and have been put on our knees by such merchants from hell
    to buy goods from rogues because we can no longer afford to SUPPORT
    DEMOCRATIC REPUBLICAN made goods (as in REPUBLIC and your OATH to the
    COMMON WELFARE of America NOT such UN-Allegiance MERCHANTS!) and
    services provided by American manufactures and that you and yours
    would keep on insisting as would any King(s) (and fascist dictators)
    and their kingdom that the rich should not have to make concessions to
    FIRST THEIR OWN “ALLEGIANCES” to America wall street, the central
    bankers and corporations and such PERSON-HOOD being what they
    collectively are (Swearing of the Pledge; does it not mean anything
    anymore and if the rich and powerful and PERSON-HOODS can forgo their
    allegiances TO AMERICA then have they assimilated to the American way
    of life and what are their loyalties?) make such an effort to have
    other nations raise such standards and that all (who want NOT BY
    FORCE! and Not at the expense of the American people) that want to
    trade with America to raise to American standards instead of insisting
    that America stoop and kiss the feet of such a third world and or such
    communist standards?


    It is essential that “we” and you people set such bench marks for
    those who “WANT” the American way of life to COME AND GET IT as “we”
    DEFEND OUR WAY and that you extinguish the UN-ALLEGIANCE of such wall
    street cabal, the bankers and such corporatism (merchants) from
    selling America out to the communist / rogues etc! If other nations
    (not by the insanity of forced allegiances) want to trade with America
    then so be it, the new information age that we now have would be such
    a sword of contemptible notions for those (the many) in other nations
    to make up their own minds and (IF AND WHEN) they want “IT” OK and if
    not then it is YOUR RESPONSABILITY to take America back to the proper
    spheres of such SANE INFLUIENCES what have been CENSORED FROM THE
    AMERICAN PSYCHE by the same powerful influences (Norman Dodd) that
    control our own public schools and such historical references what are
    become enamored with such “SOVERIEGNTY” and the true “HUMBLE”
    DEFENSIVE POPSTURE our founders wrote in said SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND
    (how we forgotten about “THE REPUBLIC”?) such as Washington’s Farewell
    Address 1796 that would free us all from the globalist terrorist who
    are so few who have taken so many hostage so a few can rule and argue
    over such conditional insanity (The SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND IS CLEAR!)
    as America should stoop to such third world lows and colonialism and
    such endevors that we fled and declaired our own INDEPENDENCE that you
    and youirs would give up any responsibilities it has to her own
    American REPUBLIC and its inhabitants because merchants have taken
    said trade and commerce hostage and monopolized the nations of the
    world BY selling America and her INTIGRAL CONDITIONAL SPHERES OF
    INFLUENCE thereby selling America and her liberty and EQUALITY out:
    yet you and yours keep on insisting isolation is a bad thing? Who got
    rich off of globalism and mercantilism from hell and now hold America
    hostage? I will leave it there for now humbly await you answer.

    Sincerely and in peace,
    Randy Rinaldo

    I live among true Americans folks and we are awakening. The new
    reality of the situation is becoming apparent and everyday talking
    points as people are beginning to sing the same song of truth. Peace
    picks no sides and humility has been a long time coming because
    humility never has had such a bullhorn as the press and politicians
    who have been blowing nose candy up the American peoples noses.

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