If you announce it, they will come

Earlier, we reported New Jersey-based Covanta Energy Corp. had hired lobbyist Andrew Wilkinson to represent the company's interests in British Columbia. But what exactly are those interests? In an interview with Public Eye, Covanta external affairs vice-president Derek Porter explained, "We are a world-leader in gaining renewable energy from waste products - whether it be biomass or municipal solid waste. So certainly anywhere that is looking at increasing biomass - which is right in our core business - is something that we're interested in" - referring to the Campbell administration's new bioenergy strategy.

"It's similar to what we've done in China when the Chinese government committed to increasing the energy from waste significantly," he added. "You see us there exploring opportunities."

So when did Covanta begin looking at opportunities in British Columbia? "I just don't that I have a specific time," Mr. Porter responded. "The company has grown over the last four of five years significantly - if you look at our stockprice and acquisitions. So I would say over that timeframe - in the past five, six years - we've really been looking at all of the opportunities nationally or internationally."

And what about Mr. Wilkinson? How did the company come to hire him as it's lobbyist? "Honestly, I don't have the details on how that started specifically. But, typically, we're looking for someone who has the relationships and has been in the arena. And, just like anything else, it's a process where you talk to a couple people and determine what the best fit is."

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