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Greenpeace’s Hidden Agenda – They want to save the environment

Posted by mhudema on June 27, 2008

Fri, June 27, 2008
Stelmach complains of environmentalist ‘hidden agenda’

Says some are targeting the provincial economy

By JEREMY LOOME, LEGISLATURE BUREAU

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Premier Ed Stelmach launched into a scathing attack against Alberta’s environmental critics today, saying some may have ulterior motives to attack the provincial economy.

His opponents on the issue immediately responded that Stelmach was fear mongering.

The suggestion came at a news conference to kick off Stelmach’s trip to the Western Governors’ Association annual meeting in Jackson Wyoming this Sunday, at which he’ll pitch Alberta’s environmental plan.

Asked for his view of Federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion’s “green shift” carbon tax, Stelmach said Dion’s notion that Alberta and Saskatchewan contribute 40% of Canada’s greenhouse gases and should pay more are ridiculous and based on outlandish statistics.

He also lashed out at a Greenpeace spoof of the Travel Alberta website, called Travellingalberta.com, which uses images of environmental degradation by industry to criticize his government’s direction, calling it disgusting.

“We’re now in the crosshairs for many of the (non-government organizations), not only in the United States but around the world, and we’re going to see more of it. And we’re going to get the correct information out there,” said Stelmach.

“So, we’ve got a lot of work to do, and that’s why we made a significant ($25-million) investment in our budget in our public affairs bureau, and we’ll be working with industry, we’ll be working with universities and finding third parties …(to) get that across, not only to the Americans but most importantly to the investment industry. Because I’m of the opinion that there may be a hidden agenda here other than just environment.

“It’s to create more distrust, more unpredictability in those investment companies, whether they be in London or New York, that are making significant investments in Alberta — which has a tremendous spinoff across this country of Canada.”

Greenpeace spokesman Mike Hudema said his organization is frustrated that the premier would “fear monger” that environmental criticism is sometimes designed to attack Alberta’s economy. And he said to label the website “disgusting” is to miss the point.

“The message we’re trying to send the premier is that we love Alberta’s nature too, that we love the lakes here, and the mountains, and everything it has to offer. That’s why we don’t want it turned into tailings ponds.”

Liberal Leader Kevin Taft said the premier seems “prepared to think or do anything to avoid more concrete action on addressing real environmental issues, so he’s searching for the bogeyman of a hidden agenda, flying all over the continent and shelling out $25 million of taxpayers’ money on a ‘greenwashing’ publicity campaign.

“Attacking Greenpeace for a ‘hidden agenda’? You may disagree with everything Greenpeace has ever said, but no one has ever accused them of being subtle about who they are and why they do what they do.”

The PR battle over global warming has already been lost, said Taft, and the premier is railing against what is the prevailing public and scientific opinion, whether it comes from Greenpeace, U.S. politicians or Albertans.

“As an Albertan, when it comes to a battle between Ed Stelmach and Barack Obama, I don’t like Ed’s chances,” said Taft.

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