Posts By Brant Olson

Brant Olson - who has written 115 posts on Rainforest Action Network Blog.

Brant has worked as a strategist on national corporate campaigns in the retail, finance, energy and forest sectors for more than seven years. While working at RAN, he has negotiated agreements from The Home Depot, Lowes, Centex Homes, ProBuild, BlueLinx, Boise Cascade, Georgia Pacific and others. His research into campaign finance and corporate supply chains have been featured in national publications including Business Week and the New York Times. Brant can be found on Twitter: @branto

Breaking: “Ethical Oil” Campaign Uses Stolen, Faked Photos

By Brant Olson, August 16 2011

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Breaking: “Ethical Oil” Campaign Uses Stolen, Faked Photos

Canadian Conservative acolyte Alykhan Velshi made headlines last month with a set of bombastic ads contrasting the virtues of Canada’s “ethical oil” with the evils of “conflict oil countries.” Leading political heavyweights — including Environment Minister Peter Kent — have also adopted the mantra. But a look behind the latest “ethical oil” campaign raises a [...]

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BREAKING: Tar Sands Pipeline Backers Resort to Fake Twitter Accounts To Show “Grassroots” Support

By Brant Olson, August 4 2011

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BREAKING: Tar Sands Pipeline Backers Resort to Fake Twitter Accounts To Show “Grassroots” Support

UPDATE (8/8/11): @kbockman, and all of the 25 fake Twitter accounts we listed, have now been removed. Publiaffairsinformant.com and Keith’s Facebook page are also down. The links to those accounts previously indicated below now show screenshots taken before the accounts were removed. The office of a former Nebraska Senator working for the American Petroleum Institute [...]

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Did Exxon Ignore An Early Warning Of The Yellowstone Spill?

By Brant Olson, July 6 2011

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Did Exxon Ignore An Early Warning Of The Yellowstone Spill?

UPDATE 07/07/11 10:34AM PST: Please write President Obama to demand a ban on new oil pipelines until our communities are safe from the ones already in the ground. It was two years ago that U.S. regulators first discovered problems with the Exxon pipeline that ruptured this past weekend and spilled 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) of [...]

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Enbridge Deal Raises A $203 Million Question

By Brant Olson, June 30 2011

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Enbridge Deal Raises A $203 Million Question

Enbridge, the company responsible for the worst oil spill in Michigan state history, is now enlisting Wall St. to help foot the bill for cleaning up its mess — which means the banks backing the $203 million deal have some explaining to do. Last July, an aging pipeline operated by Enbridge Energy Partners ruptured near [...]

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World Bank Raises The Bar On Human Rights. Will Private Banks Follow?

By Brant Olson, June 8 2011

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World Bank Raises The Bar On Human Rights. Will Private Banks Follow?

Last December, I hinted that the World Bank was moving to adopt stronger new standards on Indigenous rights. After nearly three years of deliberation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank, announced its revised Sustainability Framework last month. As the largest source of international financing for companies in the [...]

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Banks on Notice: Dump Enbridge!

By Brant Olson, May 4 2011

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Banks on Notice: Dump Enbridge!

As Canadians were casting their votes in the Federal Election, another important decision was playing out in the board rooms of Canada’s top banks: what to do with Enbridge, sponsor of the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Over the last several weeks, RAN  teamed up with First Nations of the Yinka Dene Alliance to put senior banking [...]

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RBS Still Mired In Tar Sands

By Brant Olson, April 18 2011

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RBS Still Mired In Tar Sands

Last Summer we had a rather public row with RBS over its role in bankrolling fossil fuel expansion. Since then, the Bank’s PR team has been working overtime to clear the bank’s name — even releasing a 10-page report dedicated to the topic. Trouble is, its bankers continue to close lucrative deals in the tar [...]

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Bank of Montreal Confronted on Indigenous Rights

By Brant Olson, March 23 2011

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Bank of Montreal Confronted on Indigenous Rights

CEO Bill Downe’s unmistakable message at today’s Shareholder Meeting was that Bank of Montreal has changed. During his 10 minute speech, “change” showed up 14 times! The “world has changed” he declared. “Embrace change.” “If there’s one thing I hope you take away from these remarks,” he concluded, “it’s that BMO is changing.” I half [...]

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Citi Needs an Intervention

By Brant Olson, March 9 2011

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Citi Needs an Intervention

Addiction – noun \ə-ˈdik-shən, a-\: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful. (Merriam-Webster) Citi has a problem. Despite renewing its vows in 2009 to tackle “Environmental and Social Risk Management,” including mountaintop removal coal mining, Citi is relapsing into fossil fuel addiction. Last year, Citi raised more than $34 [...]

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New UBS Policy Fizzles

By Brant Olson, February 3 2011

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New UBS Policy Fizzles

‘Tis the season for new bank environmental and social policies! Last Friday, UBS was the latest to announce an updated “Responsible Banking” policy. Let’s see how it stacks up. First off, we have to commend UBS and other banks for choosing to make environmental and social commitments public. Transparency is a critically necessary component of [...]

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