Skip to main content

We received a call  from the Canadian market research firm Opinion Search asking for the woman of the house.  My, wife, being a long-time leader in the opinion and market research world, was glad to take it, although she figured she would be screened out.  She wasn’t and it became obvious why. They didn't really care what she thought.

Yesterday I might have accidently gotten an inside view of the strategy the XL pipeline lobby/PR organization is is planning for  January.  We received a call Sunday from the Canadian market research firm Opinion Search asking for the woman of the house.  My, wife, being a long-time leader in the opinion and market research world, was glad to take it, although she figured she would be screened out.  She wasn’t and it became obvious why. They didn't really care what she thought.

 The first question:

Do you think the US  should reduce oil imports?

Followed by

Do you think the US should rely more on North American produced oil, including oil from our neighbor Canada?

Followed by :

Do think that expanding America’s domestic energy infrastructure with projects likes the XL pipeline is a good idea?

When she objected to the question because it was full of assumptions, i.e.  expanding energy infrastructure is only for oil, the XL pipeline is part of  US energy infrastructure, and what a “good idea” means and is it needed, the researcher said that was the question and she could only take a yes or no or don’t know answer.

The survey went on to ask the usual questions – age, race, income and political party.  When she answered Democratic, the follow up was : “strong , moderate or weak Democrat”.

In analyzing the survey with my wife afterward we drew the following conclusions:

This may be a one shot survey but is more likely part of a larger project with focus groups and interviews to develop data for a full-out lobbying, advertisement and PR campaign in January when the XL decision is hot again.

2.  The questions seemed geared produced the follow talking points and ad themes:

1.  Although they oppose imported oil, a majority of Americans approve of  buying North American oil from our friend, Canada.

2.  American’s energy infrastructure is in need of modernization and the XL pipeline is a critical part of that modernization (and not a separate project)

3.  “Research” shows that most Americans , including women and Democrats, support building the XL pipeline  as part of upgrading our energy infrastructure.

I suspect that we will see:

1.  Talking points distributed to Members of Congress and the Admin that are owned by the oil industry and the Koch brothers with those three statements.

2. A PR campaign to imbed in the public consciousness, and in the minds of Members of Congress up for re-election, that “Most Americans support the XL pipeline (as part of an energy infrastructure upgrade).

3.  Slick TV ads like the pro-fracking gas industry ads that say we need to upgrade our energy infrastructure of which the XL is a key part, and most Americas favor that.

So what do we do?  The best strategy is to debunk the claims before they are made:

-    Alert media contacts and Congressional staff that they will be seeing talking points and PR that made the above false claims;  explain the deceptive wording of the survey

-    Get out our information with counter claims before they can mobilize – put them on the defensive before they put us on the defensive.  If we don’t have research showing that Americans reject XL, do some quick surveys and get the data out there.

-    Meet with Congressional staff and Members on break and inoculate (or threaten) them against the coming lies.

By tipping their hand, the XL supporters give us an opportunity to put them on the defensive.  If you work for an environmental or progressive organization that has the flexibility and resources to take action, now is the time.

Originally posted to musicfriday blog on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 02:25 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and DK GreenRoots.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site