Canadian Fossils Plan New Coalition to Build ‘Compelling’ Narrative for LNG Development
A new fossil coalition is forming up to build a “compelling” narrative for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Canada, and industry publication JWN Energy is right in the thick of the organizing effort.
JWN says it has been working with the Resource Works Society, the Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources (CSUR), and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) on an “alliance of like-minded companies and organizations to ensure each is connected to others in a network of common interests capable of constructively and proactively responding to opposition movements.” The group plans to host a planning and information session in Calgary January 15.
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“Now, as the LNG tide rises, a group of key industry organizations and companies is coalescing around a next-generation coalition to ensure this new LNG economy doesn’t fall prey to the well-organized external forces capable of crippling a sector that is unprepared to coordinate a connected campaign on many fronts,” said JWN Energy CEO and frequent pro-fossil commentator Bill Whitelaw, who’s listed as an organizing contact at the end of the post. “This group will also ensure the interests of labour and the trades are at the table.”
The new group’s objectives include “advocating for a truly global accounting of the climate benefits of LNG—which presents a major challenge because localized [greenhouse gas] counting strategies have not kept up with the pace of change.”
JWN complains that Canadian fossils “long ago lost control over the opposing narrative forces that have shaped the worldview of its oilsands sector.” As a result, the sector is “constantly reacting to competing narratives expertly controlled by outside forces much more proficient at storytelling than we have been,” and “Canada’s global reputation as a clean and conscientious energy producer is imperilled.”
Now, the LNG Canada consortium’s decision to invest in a C$40-billion megaproject in British Columbia presents “an opportunity to not mishandle the positive effects of the largest infrastructure investment in Canadian history and its effect on the re-genesis of Canada’s natural gas economy,” JWN adds. “This includes defining Canada’s place in a global industry rapidly shifting toward gas as a transition fuel within international climate contexts.”
Resource Works Executive Director Stewart Muir stressed the importance of “on-the-ground community context” in building a “connected narrative” that can sustain itself. “From First Nations communities to local economies, there are many voices with important things to say in how best to manage the opportunities associated with major projects that are happening against a backdrop of significant social and policy shifts,” he said. “We need to ensure we create a connected communications process by which these voices are aligned with each other and not working in isolation.”
At the upcoming session in Calgary, “our goal is to first identify all the players, from companies to communities, and explore whether or not there is a collective will to form an alliance that will focus on getting the narratives right,” said CGAI President Kelly Ogle. “It’s clear from the response to our invitation; we are on to something in terms of coordinating all these interests.”