Documents obtained by Greenpeace detail a desperate astroturf PR strategy designed by Edelman for TransCanada to win public support for its Energy East tar sands export pipeline. TransCanada has failed for years to win approval of the controversial border-crossing Keystone XL pipeline, so apparently the company has decided to “win ugly or lose pretty” with an aggressive public relations attack on its opponents.
The Edelman strategy documents and work proposals outline a “grassroots advocacy” campaign plan to build support for TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline as well as to undermine public opposition to oil and pipelines generally.
The documents should cause well-deserved embarrassment for Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, as well as TransCanada.
But this is not just a temporary black eye for a PR firm and its corporate client. The Edelman documents reveal a broader industry campaign to undermine the public interest and attack the oil industry’s critics across the board.