Natural resources minister Greg Rickford attended closed door meeting to deliver pep talk in 2014 to urge executives to spreading oil industry’s message
Thursday 28 May 2015
An oil industry lobby group successfully recruited a Canadian cabinet minister to deliver a pep talk and dispense strategic planning advice at a closed door meeting in a luxury Rocky Mountains resort, the Guardian has learned.
In the 21 October 2014 session, Greg Rickford, the natural resources minister, urged the 40 to 50 assembled executives to work harder to spread the oil industry’s message.
“You are fighting an uphill battle for public confidence,” he said. “Our messages are not resonating.”
The 2,900-word prepared speech makes no mention of climate change or the conclusions of studies that say most of the tar sands will have to stay in the ground to avoid catastrophic global warming.
Instead, Rickford commiserated with the executives about criticism of tar sands oil, suggesting it was misguided.
“Much of the debate over energy is characterized by myth or emotion,” he said, accusing scientists and campaigners of “crowding out the real facts”.
“You’ve heard them all: that the oil sands are a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.