Home Energy and Environment Progressive Blogs Sell Out To Big Oil

Progressive Blogs Sell Out To Big Oil


If you’re not familiar with dirty Canadian tar sands, let me give you a quick rundown of the process & where things stand right now:

  1. Canadian tar sands company TransCanada bulldozes the pristine forest to dig up tar sands, oil mixed with dirt. Leftover sludge is dumped into “tailings ponds” where it kills thousands of birds.
  2. The mining & refining process releases three times the global warming pollution compared to conventional oil
  3. TransCanada is currently pressuring the Obama administration to let it build a new Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to deliver its dirty fuel to the Gulf Coast, where it would be refined & shipped with no guarantee the oil would be sold to American consumers. What would be guaranteed? Massive profits for Koch Industries.
  4. Homeowners along the proposed pipeline route have already gotten a menacing letter from TransCanada warning eminent domain could be used to seize their homes if they don’t sell out now (where’s the Tea Party eminent domain anger on this?)
  5. Here’s the kicker: The tar sands pipeline would actually increase gas prices in the Midwest

So how are national progressive blogs reacting to the story? By cashing in.

DailyKos sold its top-of-page banner and its wallpaper to TransCanada today:

Talking Points Memo sold a banner, the wallpaper AND an inset ad above its top story:

FireDogLake sold TransCanada its banner to go along with not one but three BP inset ads on its front page:

Even the Center for American Progress – a progressive nonprofit – has a BP inset ad on ThinkProgress.org:

Worth mentioning that Huffington Post right now doesn’t have any ads from TransCanada or BP. If you see any other TransCanada ads on progressive blogs I’ve missed, email me.

As a friend told me today, “When you’re spending $11 billion on a house, loose change can buy a lot of wallpaper.” What I don’t understand is why progressive blogs think it’s OK to cash checks from people who make their money by destroying our air, water & wildlife.

Before your blood stops boiling, be sure to ask the Obama administration to say no to tar sands.

Cross-posted from TheGreenMiles.com

  • The Richmonder

    Did you speak to anyone at any of these websites to get their response to your post?

    The reason I ask this is because I’m wondering whether they actually sold advertising to this company or if the company bought the advertising through a third party service that brokers ads for them.

    I use Google Ads on my site to generate a very modest stream of income (I’m embarrassed to say how modest).  I don’t have direct control over which advertisers appear on my site.  I designate certain areas of my site for ads and then Google sells ads and splits (a tiny amount of) the revenue with me.

    Now I do have a veto, in a sense.  If an ad or advertiser really bothers me I can block them by entering their url into an ad filter on my account.  But I can’t watch all my sites all the time and new advertisers appear all the time.

    I’d like to hear from these other sites how they sell space on their sites and what if any policies they have about advertisers that are and aren’t allowed and how they filter them.

    1) If they sold the space directly to TransCanada, then that really is a poor decision on their part and they deserve your censure.  

    2) If a third party did it for them, then maybe they need to renegotiate the way they sell space on their site, but the blame would seem to lie more with TransCanada in that case for deliberately planting “spoiler” advertising on websites that normally would oppose TransCanada’s (or BP’s) goals.

    It isn’t clear to me from what you’ve written which one of these scenarios is in operation, so I have to ask again: did you contact any of these sites for a response to these ads before writing your post?

  • I think advertisements are targeted to whomever is surfing the page.  

    In other words, not everyone sees the same advertisements.  If you have recently been reading up on information regarding a topic recently, advertisement scripts search through your cookies to see what topics or products you may be interested by seeing what is left in your cookies and browsing history.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    But yeah, web sites can block certain advertising companies that advertise for certain customers.  But, I assume those larger web sites that rely on revenue from ads go with the big ad companies that represent a plethora of companies.

  • kindler

    This is a worthy point to raise. Some of these folks spend a lot of time proclaiming who among the Democrats or progressives is good or evil, so it is fair game to raise this concern. (I’m thinking particularly of Fire Dog Lake’s jihad against thise who didn’t agree with Jane Hamscher’s views on health care.)

    I’d second the suggestion to ask these blogs what they were thinking (or if they were simply not minding the store).  Those fighting on our side  deserve at least that opportunity to explain themselves.