The oil industry never wanted people to get worked up about the tapping of Canada's tar sands. That much already went without saying. But a 2010 presentation released by Wikileaks shows just how desperate it was to keep to environmentalists off its back -- and just how unsuccessful, three years later, it's been in doing so.
The presentation was prepared by Stratfor, a global intelligence firm based in Texas, for what appears to be Suncor Energy, Canada's largest oil sands producer. (While Suncor denies ever having commissioned or seen the presentation, the company's name is mentioned a total of 11 times throughout.) It breaks down nearly two dozen environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation,World Wildlife Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council, into four basic categories: radicals, idealists , realists and opportunities and then sets out potential strategies for dealing with each, such as intentionally delaying negotiations or, as is proposed in this slide, ignoring them:
InsideClimateNews calls the presentation "the latest in a series of revelations that suggest energy companies—which for most of their history seemed unfazed by activists—have been looking for ways to dilute environmentalists' growing influence." National Journal calls it silly. But both agree that, as thousands of people "on both side of the border" have joined in protests against the tar sands, the oil industry's worst case scenario has come to pass.