Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO's PR Agency is Connected to Fracking AstroTurf in the United States

EPO privatisedThe increasingly-privatised EPO...

Summary: A closer look at FTI Consulting, the company which the EPO has just granted €880,000 for the purpose of reputation laundering

T

HE EPO decided to waste nearly a million dollars in an effort to “address the media presence of the EPO” (nice euphemism for reputation laundering). FTI, which is based on Washington, received a lot of money from the EPO. Not long beforehand the EPO also contracted Control Risks Group (CRG) for the crushing of EPO unions, having seen CRG doing this successfully in Europe and doing even worse things in battle zones (where people are literally killed for their resistance). We still hope that someone will send us the CRG contract (in the name of transparency inside a public body), but we already wrote a lot of what we know about CRG in posts such as:



Today we turn our attention to the EPO's latest private liaison, which is a very expensive one. What exactly is FTI? Let's find out some of its recent activities (recent years).

We are going to emphasise FTI (bold font/face) in order to make faster reading possible, based on textual patterns.

PR Watch's Lisa Graves (wonderful researcher by the way, and a follower of mine online) wrote about “Energy In Depth” 3 years ago. It's a rather shady group, which Graves was able to connect to FTI Consulting. To quote the key part: "They have even had overlapping public relations staff, as with IPAA/EID's Chris Tucker, a former GOP congressional staffer who has been described as a Senior Vice President at Financial Dynamics, as the "managing director of FTI Consulting and as team lead for Energy In Depth." For a time, Tucker was publicly listed as handling communications for both IPAA/EID and IER, "using the same phone number for both," according to DeSmogBlog's research."

These groups always cleverly disguise themselves. Recall for example what we discovered about Consumer Watchdog.

An article we found in Climate Investigations Center says more about FTI Consulting: "Energy in Depth (EID) is a "PR operation for the [energy] industry's multi-billion dollar financial interests in 'unconventional' drilling for what is popularly known as 'natural gas,'" according to an article by PR Watch. Although FTI is almost never associated with EID (instead presenting itself as a "research program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America"), they nonetheless share high-level employees.

"One such person is Steve Everley, FTI's senior director. He has published several articles on EID's website and is called a "team leader for Energy in Depth," but he does not disclose this position on his LinkedIn profile. However, there was an occasion when Everley used an FTI email in conducting EID business..."

There is even a screenshot there to show it. It seems like a livery fluke. He didn't hide behind the right proxy.

Here is the FTI page of Chris Tucker and Steve Everley's LinkedIn page, disclosing that he works for FTI and is "[p]ublic affairs specialist with advanced understanding of the energy industry, including oil and gas ("fracking")..."

"Pay attention to intersecting dots," says this older blog post, "FTI Consulting, IPAA, Institute for Energy Research, the revolving door of Congress and more." There are many details in there. Other blogs point out similar connections.

"These groups always cleverly disguise themselves.""The Energy-In-Depth Dots led me to delve deeper into FTI Consulting," one blogger wrote. "The airwaves are already saturated with gas ads, and the endless EID budget is pulsing through various FTI departments as the Gas Industry tries to wrest control of the public conversation." It's no secret that FTI works in this area (as well as patents and litigation), but why is it hiding behind liveries and front groups?

A more recent article, published just 8 months ago, said: "Inside Climate News has revealed that a key leader of oil and gas industry front groups that oppose new fracking regulations may have been playing both sides of the issue. In an investigation into the funding of the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) work on oil and gas regulation, Inside Climate News discovered that a key EDF funder had hired FTI Consulting's David Blackmon to promote fracking regulations. Unbeknownst to his employer, Blackmon is a longtime oil industry consultant who is paid to oppose regulation of the fracking industry. [...] With its public relations efforts conducted by FTI Consulting, EID now serves as a key pro-industry front group promoting unfettered hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to the U.S. public."

"The post proceeds to showing that FTI reaches into territories that one might expect Control Risks to dip its toes in."Leaving the area of energy and climate (there is a lot about it implicating FTI), consider this post which says: "FTI Consulting deserves special mention. It is a public listed company, that deals in a number of things, among which PR management. This "PR management" company instructed one of its employees, Maria Jose Tobar, to call me, to find out where I worked, so, presumably, I could be served. When I exposed FTI's idiotic attempt, Maria Jose Tobar deleted her LinkedIn profile. But FTI Consulting has been offering similar "PR management" and consultancy services to some of the worse thugs to come out Chavez's Venezuela: Rafael Sarria, Ricardo Fernandez Barrueco, Moris Beracha, Alejandro Andrade, David Osio and the two imbeciles running Derwick Associates, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez and Pedro Trebbau Lopez. The commonality between mentioned names appears to be FTI's Frank Holder."

The post proceeds to showing that FTI reaches into territories that one might expect Control Risks to dip its toes in. To quote a strongly-worded part, "Holder, and FTI Consulting as a result, have been involved, at the very least, in money laundering, racketeering, and aiding and abetting wanted criminals."

Is this really the type of company/firm EPO wishes to be associated with?

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