If the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities, a veteran Washington political consultant told a room full of industry executives in a speech that was secretly recorded.
At the recent Toronto Global Forum, some Big Oil folk were talking about how to better engaged with people and, you know, the aboriginal population. I made some suggestions about getting away from their surgery-offering mentality and start thinking about communities from a well-being perspective.
It may be that, with trust built and mutual understanding established, these executives can focus on the low-risk of their delivery models. Or, communities and companies may come up with alternative solutions.
The key point I made was not to assume your "opposition" was anti-money or anti-development; unless those executives would be comfortable having a massive pipeline run right through their living room, they should be able to see this as a human issue.
They can take my advice and go the behavioural economics route - or, they can take Berman's advice and start a war. Those always end up being cheaper in the long run, don't they?
Remember, folks, that in the days of the Internet, everyone's dirt is up for grabs - just look at what's happening to Jian Ghomeshi.
You can't take personal risk out of war, so be damned sure you're prepared to live with the consequences if you're going all in.
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