Thursday, November 6, 2014

Local Groups to Protest Anti-Environmental Keynote Speaker outside Gas Lobby Meeting

Protest: No More Fracking Lies! 

Wednesday, Nov. 12th at 4 p.m. 

Hyatt Regency, 2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo

To view updates and join the Event on Facebook, click here.

The Independent Oil & Gas Association of NY (IOGA-NY) is the chief oil and gas lobbying organization in New York, spending millions backing fracking and natural gas development in the state and opposing environmental safeguards. 

IOGA-NY will hold their 2014 Annual Meeting in Buffalo on November 11th and 12th. This year a keynote speaker is Jack Hubbard who will present a talk titled "Big Green Radicals: Winning Public Opinion, Undermining the Activist's Credibility and Changing the Debate." 

Hubbard works for a Washington D.C.-based consulting firm, Berman & Co., which specializes in undermining the work of environmentalists on behalf of the natural gas industry. 

The New York Times published a secretly recorded a speech given by Hubbard's colleague, Richard Berman, in which he solicited up to $3 million from oil and gas industry executives to finance the "Big Green Radicals" PR campaign. He promised the industry executives “total anonymity.”

Berman said in his speech, that industry executives must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups.  “You can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.

To view the New York Times article, click here. For a transcript of the speech by Berman, which also includes one by Jack Hubbard, click here.

The oil and gas industry doesn't have science behind them so companies resort to lies and innuendo invented by high-priced PR firms. Berman and Co. seems to be a leader in this effort -- getting millions of $$ from industry executives to smear environmental groups, and hiding the industry's role in funding his campaigns.

Jack Hubbard, the keynote speaker of the upcoming IOGA-NY Annual Meeting in Buffalo, spoke at a previous meeting about the national "Big Green Radicals" campaign. He announced that “the initial targets of that campaign were the Sierra Club, NRDC, and Food & Water Watch.” 

Targeting these groups for being opposed to fracking is a big mistake on Hubbard's part. These groups are united in that they all remain unconvinced of the industry-touted safety of shale gas drilling and fracking in the face of industry-caused well water damage, air pollution, toxic and radioactive wastewater, and earthquakes.

Jack Hubbard also mentioned digging-up “criminal records” that activists have. He said “We’re really making this personal. We’re trying to make it so that they don’t have any credibility with the public, with the media, or with legislators.”

Criminal records? Well, that's just ridiculous! Another thing the three environmental groups have in common is that they're law-abiding people. Most all are volunteers, giving their time to protect the quality of our water, air, land and health. 

Many people in the Buffalo area are members of the targeted groups that Hubbard attempts to discredit. Organizers hope that people will be moved to attend the protest on Nov. 12 or take action by exposing the despicable tactics of these gas industry-funded attack dogs to the public and media.

Protesters outside of the IOGA-NY Annual Meeting will demand that our legislators not listen to gas industry lies! 

Berman said "You can either win ugly or lose pretty."

Let's Win Pretty!  Click here to Join the Event on Facebook!

Cosponsors: Renewable Energy Task Force of WNY Peace Center, Sierra Club Niagara Group, Western NY Drilling Defense, Food & Water Watch, PAUSE, and the New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition.

~  ~  ~
See also:  

"Meet Dr. Evil" is the title of a CBS 60 Minutes interview of Berman, which can be viewed here

"Frack Attack Likely at Talk" by Brian Nearing at Times Union.


Gerry Rising said...

David, I find myself ashamed by the behavior of these people. Sadly, I think that the public is being driven by them. Is there any way you can get Berman's speech transcript to the News so that it is exposed? The only way to address this kind of activity is to do that and this provides a perfect opportunity.

David Kowalski said...

Gerry, Thank you very much for your comment. I just included the link to Berman's speech transcript in my blog post. That transcript also contains a speech by Jack Hubbard, the keynote speaker at the upcoming IOGA-NY Annual Meeting in Buffalo. I just included a quote of one of his statement in my post. A press release will include a link to the speeches.