Tides and friends Part I: Canada's sovereignty under assault

Winningreen Issue Alert                                               
Tides and friends Part 1: Canada’s sovereignty  under assault by wealthy U.S. liberal foundations

By Gretchen Randall

Date: February 22, 2012
The issue is not simply that President Obama is kowtowing to his far left base by rejecting plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada to the U.S. Now Canada has a fight over building a pipeline to carry the oil from Alberta to its west coast as well as over whether oil production from tar sands should be allowed for environmental reasons.  The campaign against these issues is being funded by millions of dollars from American foundations such as those started by the Hewlett and Packard families, the Pew Trusts, the Ford Foundation and of course, the Tides Foundation.

Tar sands or oil sands are a combination of bitumen, water, clay and sand.  This involves mining rather than the conventional oil drilling to get the bitumen which contains a thick oil.  A separate process is then needed to separate the sand, clay and bitumen to get to the oil and then refine it. Alberta happens to contain the largest oil sands deposits in the world outside of Venezuela with little production being conducted in the U.S.

The opposition to tar sands began in 2008 according to a report from the Daily Caller when the Rockefeller Brothers Fund suggested funding several environmental organizations to begin fighting both tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline.  In addition, Vivian Krause, a reporter for the Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper, has found that, “since 2000, U.S. foundations have granted at least $300 million to various environmental organizations” to fund several campaigns in Canada. 

Here are just some of the foundations started by American entrepreneurs which have funded these campaigns:

     •  Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (founder of Intel) $92 million
     •  William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and David and Lucile Packard Foundation combined gave $90 million
     •  Pew Charitable Trusts (founded by owner of Sun Oil)  $82 million

One of these campaigns is to allegedly protect the Great Bear Rainforest which encompasses about 21 million acres along the Pacific coast from Vancouver to the southern tip of Alaska.  Their effort is to stop oil tanker traffic in the coastal area which would end Canada’s oil exports to Asia. Other campaigns include the Tar Sands Action campaign and the Boreal Forest Initiative to stop oil and gas development in Canada.  This effort to stop logging, road building, mining and oil and gas exploration in half of Canada has received $57 million from Pew Trusts.
In Part II we will explore how Tides USA and Tides Canada are supporting similar efforts often with money from donors who wish to be anonymous and thus have no fingerprints on the groups they are supporting.

Comment: Vivian Krause, in the Financial Post,  “As I see it, the campaign against Canadian oil, put on steroids by U.S. foundations, has created a negative foil, a background of bad press and fear without which it would have been more difficult to push through the billions in U.S. government grants, loans and subsidies that were made in the U.S. in order to develop renewable energy.”

Comment:  Note that each of the donations mentioned above is many times the entire budget of Chicago’s Heartland Institute, the organization which was recently maligned for efforts to bring rational debate to the climate change issue.

Links: Access the stories here:  http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/20/campaign-against-canadian-keystone-xl-pipeline-driven-by-us-foundation-millions/    and  http://opinion.financialpost.com/2012/01/17/vivian-krause-oil-sands-money-trail/
To read our report on "The Tides Foundation - Liberal Crossroads of Money and Ideas" go to: http://www.winningreen.com/site/epage/41804_621.htm

Contact: Gretchen Randall
Winningreen LLC
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: grandall@winningreen.com