Leaving out a Vital Detail about the Western Fuels Association

Ross Gelbspan’s claim about statements in Western Fuels’ annual report – which are not there – is a major problem. His other consistent description about that organization, which leaves out a vital detail, is an additional problem.

Even without putting his name into an internet search, plenty of results show of a description of Western Fuels that is directly attributable to him, with a particular emphasis on the words “a $400-million coal consortium.”

One hyphenated word is always missing from that description:  “non-profit

As in what is clearly said currently at their home page right under their map, and as in what was said at the earliest available archive page, which dates from 1997:

Western Fuels Association, Inc., is a not-for-profit cooperative

Rummage through internet searches for them described as “not-for-profit” or “non-profit”, and the results turn up one enviro-activist wiki page where that apparently slipped by them, and Greenpeace archive scans of pages that were only for Greenpeace’s own internal use.

Certainly, it is fair to say a big problem arises concerning the portrayal of Western Fuels as a sinister greedy fossil fuel organization out to protect its bottom line, if astute members of the public compares Western Fuels’ product handling services and asset holdings to what other like-minded organizations might have in offering essentially the same services over a large region….. for example, non-profit food growing & distribution cooperatives.

It’s also fair to say that when Gelbspan wrote about Western Fuels in 1997 as a “$400 million coal giant”, noting details from their 1994 annual report, the same big problem was staring him in the face considering WFA’s 1994 report disclosed how their organization had sustained an operations loss stemming partly from entering the global warming debate.

From that, it would be fair to ask if Gelbspan saw the potential narrative derailment arising out of a full disclosure description of Western Fuels, and decided to never mention their “not-for-profit” label.