Submitted by John Stauber on
Newsday reports on a successful cooptation of the activist group ACORN by Shell Oil's natural gas venture: "Amid its ongoing effort to garner community support for its controversial offshore natural gas terminal, Broadwater Energy yesterday announced a 10-year, $10-million initiative to fund the weatherizing of more than 2,000 houses in low-income parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties [in New York]. Critics of the proposed offshore terminal blasted the idea as a naked attempt to buy friends for a project about which they have raised a host of environmental and economic objections. ... The program would be administered by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. ... Outspoken Broadwater critic Adrienne Esposito ... called the program 'a bribe to bring good public relations points. A lot of money doesn't make Broadwater a better project.' ... Partnerships with third parties who have some community credibility is a common strategy in advancing controversial projects, according to [CMD's] Sheldon Rampton ... 'I think the community ought to look carefully at what they're getting themselves into. Would [Broadwater parent] Shell Oil be doing this project if they weren't planning to build the natural gas terminal?'" ACORN also receives funding from the Democracy Alliance, a network of Democratic Party millionaires. Shell, long advised by activist-busting PR firms including Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin, has an infamous history of targeting, dividing and conquering activists.