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Alberta Politics: Throne Speech suggests Alberta NDP won’t let oil price crisis go completely to waste

PHOTOS: Status of Women Minister Stephanie McLean with her new son, Patrick, in the rotunda of the Alberta Legislature Building after yesterday’s Throne Speech. Below: Royal Canadian Artillery Band conductor Capt. Patrice Arsenault starts the proceed… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Throne Speech suggests Alberta NDP won’t let oil price crisis go completely to waste

The Canadian Progressive: Keystone XL Pipeline Lobbyists Have Deep Ties to White House

By: Pratap Chatterjee

Keystone Pipeline Handout

TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration – as well as former staff of the Hillary Clinton and John Kerry presidential campaigns – to help them lobby for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands fuel to the . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: Keystone XL Pipeline Lobbyists Have Deep Ties to White House

Northern Insight: Pundit, partisan, or?

A garrulous right-winger, Alise Mills has appeared on CKNW, CTV, Sun News Network and CBC. Because she is pervasive, it’s worth learning a little about her. In the preceding article, you can hear Mills discussing blogs that she calls “absolute garbage” but I offer information about her that is a good deal more specific.

In . . . → Read More: Northern Insight: Pundit, partisan, or?

The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis: ‘Senate’s Big Oil Benefactors’ Slammed for Keystone XL Vote

10 KXL amendment co-sponsors took $8 million from fossil fuel industry By: Jacob Chamberlain and Jon Queally | Common Dreams In a 62-37 vote late Friday, the US Senate passed a non-binding amendment calling for the approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Environmental groups and climate activists were quick to condemn […]

The post . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive | News & Analysis: ‘Senate’s Big Oil Benefactors’ Slammed for Keystone XL Vote

The Sixth Estate: Another Conservative Politician Escapes Toothless Ethics, Lobbying Commissioners

This week yet another Conservative politician slipped through the nets of the “independent” Commissioners whose job it is to lend a pretense of accountability to the Harper regime. This time the guilty part is former Newfoundland Cabinet minister turned federal “fisheries ambassador” turned Conservative candidate turned Ocean Choice International executive Loyola Sullivan.

Sullivan has had . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Another Conservative Politician Escapes Toothless Ethics, Lobbying Commissioners

Canadian Progressive: Harper Government Pressured Mexico To Nuke Peaceful Excellon Protests

Evidence suggests that the Harper Government pressured Mexico to nuke peaceful protests at Canadian company Excellon Resources Inc’s La Platosa Mine.

DeSmogBlog: Science Denial and Andrea Saul – Romney 2012 Campaign Spokesperson

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This is a guest post from Connor Gibson, originally published at PolluterWatch. A fully-footnoted version of this briefing is available for download from DocumentCloud.  INTRODUCTION:    Andrea Saul, a prominent Romney 2012 campaign operative and spokesperson, formerly worked for DCI Group, a Washington DC public affairs and lobbying . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Science Denial and Andrea Saul – Romney 2012 Campaign Spokesperson

DeSmogBlog: The Real Train Wreck: ALEC and "Other ALECs" Attack EPA Regulations

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When business-friendly bills and resolutions spread like wildfire in statehouses nationwide calling for something as far-fetched as a halt to EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, ALEC is always a safe bet for a good place to look for their origin.

In the midst of hosting its 39th Annual Meeting this week in Salt Lake . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: The Real Train Wreck: ALEC and "Other ALECs" Attack EPA Regulations

The Sixth Estate: Defection from Harper Office to Air Canada is Latest Evidence of Revolving Door at Top of Government

The media is understandably perturbed that Stephen Harper’s deputy chief of staff, Derek Vanstone, has been hired as a new executive and lobbyist by Air Canada. Vanstone and Air Canada will be using a loophole in the current lobbying regulations to get around a legal requirement that senior political staffers wait five years before becoming . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Defection from Harper Office to Air Canada is Latest Evidence of Revolving Door at Top of Government

DeSmogBlog: Fracking Industry Enjoyed Privileged Access To Controversial New York DEC Environmental Review

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Documents obtained by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) show that bureaucrats within the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC) granted the oil and gas industry premature access to highly controversial draft regulations for shale gas fracking in the state. New York placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing . . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Fracking Industry Enjoyed Privileged Access To Controversial New York DEC Environmental Review

The Sixth Estate: Inside Canada’s Rent-an-(Ex)-MP Company

A couple people have written me recently, and one has commented, asking me whether I know much about the entry into Canada of private prison contractor GEO Group, on a mission to soak up government funding running the public prisons that the Harper regime is currently shutting down. I’m afraid I don’t. I could launch . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Inside Canada’s Rent-an-(Ex)-MP Company

The Sixth Estate: FedDev Ontario Spends 5% of Grant Program Budget on German Multinational Represented in Ottawa by Conservative Lobbyist

When I first expanded my Pork Barrel study to include audits of individual programs, I said I’d start by working through Minister Diane Finley’s increasingly incompetent HRSDC first. Since then, however, my attention was piqued by a press release claiming that FedDev Ontario, which is dedicated to promoting small business in southern Ontario, would create . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: FedDev Ontario Spends 5% of Grant Program Budget on German Multinational Represented in Ottawa by Conservative Lobbyist

bastard.logic: Fun With Infographics (Ethical Oil Edition)

Via Matt Price @ HuffPo Canada:

. . . → Read More: bastard.logic: Fun With Infographics (Ethical Oil Edition)

The Sixth Estate: Harper Regime Buries Conflict of Interest Report on Illegal Lobbying by PMO Insider

Someone has to continue to bear witness on this, and it will be me.

We have now reached the three-month mark since it was reported that the Conflict of Interest Commissioner had completed an investigation into illegal lobbying by former Harper regime insider Bruce Carson, subsequently an oilpatch advocate and water purification system consultant. And . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Harper Regime Buries Conflict of Interest Report on Illegal Lobbying by PMO Insider

The Sixth Estate: Who Lobbies the Canadian Government

I’ve been watching the Canadian lobbyist registry for about a month now, as part of my ongoing Lobbyist Tracker project. So far, I’ve highlighted the hypocrisy of the Harper regime in complaining about “foreign environmentalists” at the pipeline inquiry while tolerating legions of foreign influence-purchasers in Ottawa, and the entirely unsurprising fact that corporations and . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Who Lobbies the Canadian Government

The Sixth Estate: Trueman Tuck, Man of God and Lobbyist Extraordinaire

Alternative title: how many degrees of separation are there between Ontario anti-wind activists and medical quackery advocates?

Most of my trawling through the federal disclosure records and databases is simply menial drudgery. But there are occasional bright glimmers of something interesting and even humorous. One of those is Trueman Tuck, lobbyist extraordinaire, of Belleville, Ontario. . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Trueman Tuck, Man of God and Lobbyist Extraordinaire

The Sixth Estate: Billionaire Conservatives Dominate Federal Lobbying

In response to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver’s recent temper tantrum about “foreign billionaire socialists hijacking” the pipeline hearings, I reactivated my Lobbyist Watch project, which tracks the burgeoning lobbying sector in Ottawa. Ottawa has a love-hate relationship with this sector. Harper claims to hate it, but they still manage to get invited to all . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Billionaire Conservatives Dominate Federal Lobbying

The Sixth Estate: Ottawa Besieged by Foreign Money, Billionaire Non-Socialists

It’s interesting to chart the official outrage over environmental groups that have taken money from foreign donors and now oppose a Canadian pipeline as part of an international anti-Canadian conspiracy (don’t ask me, ask Minister Joe Oliver). It’s even more interesting to see their studious unconcern about a more routine way in which foreigners, billionaires . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Ottawa Besieged by Foreign Money, Billionaire Non-Socialists

Christy, what are you thinking? BC Liberals hire Harper aide and Enbridge lobbyist Ken Boessenkool as chief of staff.

If you ever wanted to know which side of the political spectrum the BC ‘Liberals’ fall, it’s pretty obvious by now it’s neither centre nor left. When a supposed centre-left political party hires a lobbyist whose previous tenure involved working as senior policy advisor and strategist to Stephen Harper and lobbying for . . . → Read More: Christy, what are you thinking? BC Liberals hire Harper aide and Enbridge lobbyist Ken Boessenkool as chief of staff.

Christy, what are you thinking? BC Liberals hire Harper aide and Enbridge lobbyist Ken Boessenkool as chief of staff.

If you ever wanted to know which side of the political spectrum the BC ‘Liberals’ fall, it’s pretty obvious by now it’s neither centre nor left. When a supposed centre-left political party hires a lobbyist whose previous tenure involved working as senior policy advisor and strategist to Stephen Harper and lobbying for Enbridge and Suncor, . . . → Read More: Christy, what are you thinking? BC Liberals hire Harper aide and Enbridge lobbyist Ken Boessenkool as chief of staff.

The Sixth Estate: Lobbyist Tracker Updated

Three days have now passed since the dishon. Peter MacKay threatened to sue his critics for libel, and Sixth Estate has not received any requests to take down posts “attacking his credibility.”

I’m in the middle of revising and republishing another of my regular features, the Lobbyist Tracker, and offer the following morsels for readers . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: Lobbyist Tracker Updated

The Sixth Estate: The Tobacco Subsidy Scandal and the Harper Government’s Lobbyist Ties

As you may have heard by now, the Auditor-General is not happy about the fact that the Harper Regime gave over $280 million in subsidies to the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers’ Marketing Board to pay off tobacco farmers to kick their habit, so to speak, only to miss the fact that a large number of . . . → Read More: The Sixth Estate: The Tobacco Subsidy Scandal and the Harper Government’s Lobbyist Ties

Northern Insights / Perceptivity: A snail’s pace is quick by comparison

To emphasize that the Basi/Virk trial was merely meter-spinning theatre from the injustice system, I bring back a Northern Insights piece from almost 18 months ago. I think it captures reality, showing the trial was never about exposing truth.

This week another insider of the Liberal government was caught reaching hands into the cookie jar. . . . → Read More: Northern Insights / Perceptivity: A snail’s pace is quick by comparison

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: It’s not just unions any more: Time to consider fiscal openness for professional associations, private companies, think tanks, churches

The board of the Fraser Institute meets to discuss their next dubious call for lower taxes on billionaires and the corporations they own. Who finances them, anyway? Secretive organizations may not appear exactly as illustrated.

It’s not just unions any more.

The more I think about this, the more the idea makes sense: the time . . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: It’s not just unions any more: Time to consider fiscal openness for professional associations, private companies, think tanks, churches

NEW MEDIA AND POLITICS CANADA: Big-Oil Monopolies Engage in Price-Gouging

Last week Exxon-Mobil announced their 2011 third-quarter earnings, reporting $10.3 billion in profits, which is an increase of 41 percent from the same period last year. So far, Exxon has earned over $31 billion in profits in the first nine months of the year. It needs to be noted that Exxon-Mobil is also one of the big five big-oil companies that spends the most money muddying climate-change science – to add to their long list of egregious behaviour.

The people at Shell are also onto good times. Royal Dutch Shell announced their 2011 third-quarter earnings, announcing profits of $6.98 billion, like Exxon-Mobil more than double their profits posted a year ago, bringing their total profits for 2011 to over $21 billion.

In fact he big 5 oil companies have made $102.85 billion in profits since January 1. The massive increase in oil company profits year in and year has nothing to do with market forces but with good old fashioned monopolistic price-gouging. A report from the CFA (Consumer Federation of America) says:

The spike in oil prices has not been caused by natural market supply and demand. In fact, U.S. demand for oil has declined since 2005, while global demand has grown less than 4 percent. In addition, global oil reserves have been growing faster than consumption and the reserve-to-consumption ratio now stands at a higher level than it has been in a quarter of a century. Today, OPEC spare capacity is almost three times as great as it was in 2008.

The CFA also estimates that crude oil is about $30 a barrel higher than costs or historic trends justify, which generates needlessly high prices for petroleum products that drains about $200 billion out of the US economy.

The reason for this is speculators buy and sell as much oil as possible to make quick and easy profits. Speculators might trade a barrel of oil more than 20 times before it is ever used – the price going up with each speculative trade, and consumers picking up the final tab.

And let me close by reminding you that this kind of unregulated speculation has everything to do with what the Occupy Wall Street movement is all about::

Lobbyists and special interests (have) used their influence in Washington, D.C. to weaken regulations on oil trading. For example, in 2000, Enron convinced Congress to overhaul 60-year-old commodities rules that formerly provided checks and balances on oil speculation. This loophole allowed speculators to manipulate and potentially corner the market.

Wouldn’t it be great if governments paid as much attention to consumer groups as to lobbyists from big-oil and Wall Street? Maybe if they could afford to ante up the same kinds of bribes they’d be listened to. . . . → Read More: NEW MEDIA AND POLITICS CANADA: Big-Oil Monopolies Engage in Price-Gouging