Alberta’s Conservative government is moving closer to the launch of its so-called energy war room—officially the Canadian Energy Center—which will seek to improve the public image of the oil industry.
Reuters quoted Alberta’s Minister of Energy Sonya Savage as saying, “For too long, the reputation of Alberta’s energy sector has been damaged by a deceitful campaign to landlock the oil sands. The Canadian Energy Center will focus on improving perceptions about the oil and gas industry.” Savage added the center would apply a “fact-based approach to counteracting the misinformation about our industry”.
Earlier this year, Savage slammed several media outlets for misrepresentations of the Alberta oil sands industry, including Politico and, more notably, National Geographic, which ended up editing a story—twice—that had a number of facts about the Alberta oil industry wrong.
At the same time, the Alberta government is going after foreign organizations that allegedly finance anti-oil coverage. In the summer, it announced it had allocated almost $1.9 million to a fund to investigate these foreign organizations, which it claims are leading a concerted effort to stain the image of the oil sands industry.
Whether there is concerted effort or not, it seems that anti-oil sentiments in some parts of Canada are in full bloom. One of these parts appears to be Ottawa, where in the space of two weeks three people were warned by security about their pro-oil T-shirt during tours of the Canadian parliament.
In the first case, a man wearing a T-shirt with the message “I love Canadian oil” was told the message was too political and he could only continue his tour if he turned it inside out. After an MP raised the question in parliament, the security service apologized to William Lacey. Ten days later, the same security service warned an Alberta couple with similar T-shirts to avoid them if they decided to go on a tour of the parliament again.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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