February 21, 2018

Consultant Tells Energy Industry It Can ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’

The NY Times reports that ad exec tells the industry to use fear, greed and anger against environmental groups
By Sam Kusic, Pittsburgh Business Times, October 31, 2014

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As The New York Times has it, a consultant told energy executives that they shouldn’t shy away from throwing mud at opponents of oil and gas development.

The consultant in this case is Richard Berman, the founder and chief executive of the Washington-based Berman & Co., who was addressing the Western Energy Alliance’s annual meeting, held in June.

One of the executives recorded the talk and passed it on to the New York Times. The paper reported that Berman said the industry should be prepared to find embarrassing things about environmentalists and liberal celebrities and that it should use fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups.

“I get up every morning and I try to figure out how to screw with the labor unions — that’s my offense,” Mr. Berman said, according to the Times. “I am just trying to figure out how I am going to reduce their brand.”

The Times said the talk came as Berman solicited up to $3 million from oil and gas industry executives to finance an advertising and public relations campaign called Big Green Radicals.

The campaign has already placed a series of intentionally controversial advertisements in Pennsylvania and Colorado, the newspaper said.