“Spread doubt about your opponents” is a common strategy recommendation for clients guaranteed to stir up controversy, but that fact doesn’t diminish the effect of the internal Edelman documents that Greenpeace leaked to The New York Times and Canada’s CBC News yesterday.
For reference, Edelman represents TransCanada, one of the companies behind the pending political fistfight better known as the Keystone XL Pipeline. This story concerns a different project called Energy East, which would transform a natural gas pipeline into one equipped to carry more than a million gallons of crude oil across Canada each day. The project, if completed, would also allow for easier exports to the United States.
The docs essentially suggest that TransCanada should do the very same thing other political advocacy groups do: uncover unflattering information about its ideological opponents and leak it to friendly news outlets without placing its own name anywhere in subsequent reports.