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Alberta Picks Columnist To Fight Back Against Oil Misinformation

Alberta’s government has hired award-winning oil and gas journalist Claudia Cattaneo to draft a strategy to restore the province’s reputation in the fight for its oil and gas industry, as part of the Fight Back Strategy against misinformation about the oil sands business.  

Shortly after the new conservative Alberta government took office earlier this year, the government targeted media in a campaign aimed at improving the image of the oil sands industry as presented by Premier Jason Kenney. In June, Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage sent letters to Politico and National Geographic saying the Alberta government wanted to correct misinformation published by the two outlets regarding oil sands.

This week, announcing the hiring of former National Post energy columnist Cattaneo, Savage said:

“For more than a decade, anti-fossil fuel interest groups from around the world have been leading a deceitful campaign to landlock the oilsands. Not only has this campaign – founded entirely on lies – damaged the reputation of our world-class energy sector, it has caused significant damage to our province and hurt thousands of people who work hard and are proud of the work they do.”

“Enough is enough. Our government is taking a stand and is fighting for Alberta energy and the hardworking Albertans who rely on our oil and gas industry to put food on the table for their families,” Savage said in a statement.

Cattaneo has been contracted to develop a strategic plan to clear Alberta’s image, which is expected to be completed and submitted to government early this fall.

Referring to Alberta’s Fight Back Strategy to reset the record, Savage said:

“How will we do this? By challenging. One word at a time, one fact at a time, and one truth at a time. The lies end now.”

Related: OPEC Oil Production Drops To Eight-Year Low

In the post announcing her retirement in May 2018, Cattaneo wrote:

“There is a lot more information now, but of low quality. It’s all left readers begging once again for credible and independent reporting on energy, whether about the safety of pipelines or carbon emissions, as political leaders make important decisions about the sector’s future.” 

Meanwhile, Canadian oil sands CEOs are calling directly on Canadian voters to “influence the outcome” on major oil and gas issues in the run-up to Canadian federal elections this October.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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