Noon: Courage to counterpunch the green bullies
Displaying the rare courage to stand up to the typical environmental extremists’ campaign of misinformation and shaming designed to shut it down, Resolute Forest Products is fighting back.
Resolute originally went along. As Peter Foster explains in the Financial Post: “a cabal of radical environmental non-governmental organizations, ENGOs — including Greenpeace, ForestEthics and the David Suzuki Foundation — agreed to stop their campaigns of customer harassment in return for the members of the Forest Products Association of Canada, FPAC, agreeing to sanitize a swathe of the Canadian Boreal forest, and to ‘consult’ on development plans. Astonishingly, governments played no part.” The result was the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The ENGOs aspire to put the majority of the Boreal forest off limits — ending economic development.
Resolute had been a major supporter of the agreement. Despite that, using lies and intimidation, ENGOs have constantly attacked Resolute. At one point, in 2012, the false claims were so egregious, Resolute threatened legal action against Greenpeace — which garnered an unprecedented apology and retraction. However, they came back with vengeance. Greenpeace continued to publicize the same false statements and dubbed Resolute a Boreal forest “destroyer.”
Greenpeace has launched successful harassment campaigns against companies that purchase paper supplies from Resolute and has no plans to stop the tactic. Foster reports: “Greenpeace itself has calculated that its campaigns have cost Resolute at least $100 million.”
On May 23, 2013, Resolute filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace claiming it damaged the company’s “business, goodwill and reputation.” The suit asserts defamation, malicious falsehood and intentional interference with economic relations. It seeks damages of $5 million as well as punitive damages of $2 million, plus costs. Greenpeace has attempted to have the suit thrown out, but the judge has allowed it to continue with unflattering accusations about Greenpeace’s global law-breaking activities included.
While the Canadian lawsuit makes its way through the courts and the appeals process, Resolute has just taken another bold step to defend itself against the green bully’s attacks.
On May 31, Resolute took a page from the ENGO’s playbook and, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, filed a civil RICO — Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations — suit against Greenpeace and a number of its associates that, though they claim to be independent, act cooperatively. The RICO Act intended to deal with the mob as a loose organization, or “enterprise,” with a pattern of activity and common nefarious purposes, such as extortion. (Greenpeace has asked the Justice Department to use the RICO Act to investigate oil companies and organizations that sow doubts about the risks of climate change.)
The 100-page complaint alleges that Greenpeace and its affiliates are a RICO “enterprise.” According to the Resolute news release, it describes the deliberate falsity of the malicious and defamatory accusations the enterprise has made and details how, to support its false accusations, “Greenpeace has fabricated evidence and events, including, for example, staged photos falsely purporting to show Resolute logging in prohibited areas.”
At a recent meeting, the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, according to Foster, “acknowledged that it was time to stand up and recognize ‘the significant economic implication of misinformation’” — though one has to wonder what took them so long.
Resolute is counter-punching the green bullies — and it’s about time. Just ask the coal miners in West Virginia or the farmers in Central California who are wild with enthusiasm for the Trump candidacy that promises to end the regressive regulations and return the U.S. to economic strength.
Hopefully other companies will now tune into the public’s change in attitude and will, also, fight back to protect workers.
The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc., and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy. She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy — which expands on the content of her weekly column.