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Whoops! City Notes: TransCanada flack accidentally emails reporters a report about the reporters' reporting


Interesting catch by reporter Cody Winchester. Apparently, the company building the Keystone XL Pipeline accidentally sent this email to the wrong people.


Gonna take a break from posting city news to pass along this email, which TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard inadvertently sent to several dozen reporters this afternoon. It’s a recap of how the media covered the announcement that Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman had approved a revised route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Pretty standard corporate communication speak, but it’s an interesting peek behind the curtain if you’re into that sort of thing.

From: Shawn Howard
Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:33 PM
To: [a bunch of reporters]

Earlier today, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman sent a letter to President Obama, indicating that the State had now approved the re-route of Keystone XL through the state. Shortly after the announcement, External Communications provided more than 55 reporters with quotes from Russ Girling on the announcement. Following that, TransCanada issued its own news release with more detailed information (based on content drafted prior to and after Christmas). A copy of our news release can be found by clicking here.

Russ Girling participated in a media scrum in Calgary with TV and print reporters from about 10 media outlets. Shawn Howard completed another 10 media interviews with reporters from Nebraska, Texas, South Dakota, New York and Washington, D.C. The main range of topics included: eminent domain in Nebraska, if we expect President Obama to approve KXL (juxtaposed against his comments in his Inaguaral Speech on climate change), what steps come next in the process, how quickly we could begin construction if we receive a Presidential Permit and the importance of the route approval through Nebraska. Our main messaging on these topics are as follows:

  • We are pleased with today’s announcement. This has been an exhaustive process that has involved Nebraskans and the NDEQ for the past seven to eight months and we appreciate the input they provided. We worked hard to address as many concerns as possible and today’s approval reflects our efforts to do that.
  • TransCanada supports the move to a less carbon-intense economy but we are decades away from that. TransCanada has invested billions of dollars in emission-less power generation – we know what the technology can do today and what its limitations are. The debate about climate change and emissions is not connected to Keystone XL – the oil sands produce about 1/10 of one per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and shutting down the oil sands entirely would do almost nothing for emissions. Focusing on improved fuel standards, energy efficiency and other measures will have a real impact on GHGs.
  • Keystone XL is the safest way to move oil from Canadian and US oil fields to the markets where they are needed. This is the most responsible way to move oil to markets, will have virtually no environmental impacts, enhances continental energy security and provides jobs of thousands of workers who are ready to build Keystone XL (and have been ready for years).
  • Our focus in Nebraska now is to enter into direct discussions with landowners to reach voluntary easement agreements. We work very hard to be a good neighbor and it’s not in anyone’s interests to have to go into the eminent domain process because in our experience, most panels end up awarding landowners less than what we offer as compensation for the easement and in that situation, no one is a winner.
  • We continue to believe that Keystone XL will be approved. The need for Keystone XL grows stronger as time goes on. U.S. refiners will soon lose supply contracts with places like Mexico and Venezuela and they need this stable, secure supply of oil to maintain their ability to produce goods and products we all rely on.
As of now, there have been more than 440 media hits on this story and many have taken directly from our news release and background information on our website. David Dodson responded to two Gulf Coast Project calls today. One was from Richard Nelson of the Diboll Free Press regarding our lack of an easement on a small parcel of land owned by the county. David told the reporter:

  • Work has been suspended on a small parcel of land in the overall 485-mile Gulf Coast Project in Angelina County, Texas, south of the city of Diboll.
  • TransCanada executed an easement agreement with the landowner, who subsequently sold a portion of the property to the county for purposes of construction of a weigh station. TransCanada inadvertently included the county property in its proposed route.
  • TransCanada is working with the county and other relevant agencies to resolve the issue. Resolution may include a slight route deviation.
  • As no plan is in place, no estimate of time associated with the route change can be made. We are confident accommodation will be reached with all parties.
David also spoke to the San Antonio Current. Mr. Barajas received the standard messages about protestors, number of workers, purpose and need. David stressed that:

  • The project is employing about 4,000 workers in Texas and Oklahoma. Because of the nature of pipeline construction and the protestors’ choice of targets, the impact of all the various protests can be counted in hours, not days.
  • Still, if the protestors had their way, these thousands of American workers would be kept from their jobs, and an important part of President Obama’s “all-of-the-above” energy strategy would be thwarted.
  • TransCanada is gratified by the many showings of local support, and we do not believe these protestors represent an indigenous, grass-roots movement. It is a handful of individuals, and the vast majority of them are from out of state.
There are no items that we are monitoring that require our online engagement at this time. Today’s Nebraska announcement was shared extensively online, including a FOX News article that was shared more than 5,400 times. Interestingly there was very little sharing of postings by our normal opponents.

Many of our supporters were active online in their support for today’s Nebraska announcement. Those tweets and social media postings will be re-tweeted by TransCanada tomorrow and included in our next Media Today report. Have a great evening. Shawn

Good stuff. Interesting how cozy they are with FOX News…

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    There are several lines that could be pulled & used as an argument against Keystone XL.
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