Rabble.Ca: Tea Party architects lobby Alberta for input into tar sands industry

March 25, 2011- The Koch Brothers, architects of the Tea Party and bankrollers of climate-change denial, have recently set up shop to lobby the Alberta government, according to the Edmonton Journal.

Alberta's lobbyist registry shows that on March 15, 2011, Koch Industries signed up to lobby the province on energy and resource development policy issues, as well as taxation and economic development. The registry shows the company's lobbying activities started March 3, with no fixed end date.

Koch Industries spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia did not say what the company's objectives are in lobbying the Alberta government, but her one-sentence statement noted that, "Koch companies want to add value by providing quality services and products our customers desire and value in a way that is compliant with all laws and regulations."

"Compliant with all laws and regulations" seems a bit dubious given the pro-industry and anti-environment lobbying connections to Koch's Albeta activities we uncovered.

Calgary-based lobbying group Global Public Affairs was recently hired to head up Koch's activities. GPA has clients listed in the petrochemical and tar sands already. According to the record, Calgary-based David Keto has been hired to arrange meetings and conduct grassroots and informal communications on behalf of the company. Keto was executive assistant to cabinet minister David Coutts for two years ending in 2003.

The filer on the lobbying record is former Chief of Staff for former Minister of the Environment David Anderson, who was minister from 2003 through 2004 under Prime Minister Paul Martin. Randy Pettipas left government to take the position of CEO of Global Public Affairs.

A bit of digging reveals that Pettipas worked for the now-defunct Astroturf group the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions from October 2002 through April 2004 (exactly when his former boss, David Anderson, was environment minister). The short-lived CCRES claimed to be a grassroots group of business, industry and consumer advocacy groups. An October 2002 list of its members showed its members were exclusively industry groups including major petroleum, industrial, chemical and transportation associations, and in particular the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Canadian Chemical Producers' Association, Petroleum Services Association of Canada, Propane Gas Association of Canada and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.

The Astroturf group appears to have been created entirely on behalf of dirty energy industry interests to defeat the Kyoto Protocol.


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