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August 19, 2009

Dirty Energy Behind the Clean Energy Protests

Today's NY Times has an excellent article about the oil companies behind all the protests to the clean energy and climate legislation in Congress. The article discusses the industry front group Energy Citizens and its campaign to undermine any legislation that would restrict its emissions.

If you're interested in the list of which organizations sponsor Energy Citizens, check out this long list of names from Media Matters. Highlights include the American Petroleum Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau, the National Association of Manufacturers, and a whole bunch of state coal associations.

But, back to this NY Times article:

For its part, the oil industry plans to raise the pressure in coming weeks through its public rallies so that it can negotiate more favorable terms in the Senate than it got in the House. The strategy was outlined by the American Petroleum Institute in a memorandum sent to its members, which include Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. The memorandum, not meant for the public, was obtained by the environmental group Greenpeace last week.

“It’s a clear political hit campaign,” said Kert Davies, the research director at Greenpeace.

In the memorandum, the president and chief executive of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack N. Gerard, said that the aim of the rallies was to send a “loud message” to the Senate. He said the rallies should focus on higher energy costs and jobs. “It’s important that our views be heard,” Mr. Gerard wrote.

Want to read that memo? Talking Points has it on their website.

This is just another example of the dirty energy industry "astroturf" campaign trying to undermine real grassroots work by Americans.


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