The MLPA “Initiative” of 2009-2010 was not the first time that Kearns & West was manipulating the public with a so-called “public process” on the North Coast.
Noyo News has learned that Kearns and West was involved in the “public process” for P.G.&E.’s attempted “wave energy” ocean resource takeover in 2008-2009. According to an announcement posted by P.G.&E.’s public affairs rep Ian Caliendo in April, 2009:
“We are working with Kearns & West, a public involvement firm, to design and facilitate an appropriate public participation process. In an effort to better understand the questions, concerns, and interests of the public, and especially those of you involved thus far, Kearns & West will be conducting some informal interviews. You may be contacted by Kearns & West to schedule a confidential interview at a time of your convenience.”
Almost immediately after trying to garner public support for P.G.&E. to control two hundred square miles of ocean off the North Coast for proposed wave energy projects in 2008-09, Kearns and West was back in 2009-10, with the MLPA “Initiative” – to end fishing, gathering and public access – on huge ocean tracts.
During Kearns and West’s most recent “public process” for the MLPAI, questions from the public about protections against ocean industrialization – such as oil/gas drilling and wave energy projects – were strictly prohibited.
Whenever a member of the public asked about oil and gas drilling, mining, wave/wind energy or Navy testing within MPAs – they were quickly marginalized and silenced by the privately contracted Kearns and West facilitators. These topics were deliberately kept off the table during the MLPA “Initiative” – contrary to the Marine Life Protection Act itself.
So why is it, that the same private firm running public meetings, to throw fishermen and the public off the ocean, has as its main paying clients – energy interests, primarily electricity and natural gas interests? link here
Just a coincidence? Can the same outfit that represents natural gas and energy interests on the one hand, say they are working to protect the ocean on the other?
Noyo News will let readers draw their own conclusions.
For this reporter, it is clear we have a problem. The only public process that Kearns and West was engaged in, was the process of turning public resources over to private interests, during which they violated the public trust, and the democratic process itself.
We are calling for an immediate and thorough investigation by the Attorney General, into Kearns and West’s conflicts of interests, and the illegal and deliberate manipulation of the public during the MLPAI process.
We are demanding that the many public questions about conflicts of interest and corruption within the MLPAI be addressed, and that the entire MLPAI be investigated by appropriate legal entities.