Friday, August 14, 2009

UPDATED: More Details Emerge in Big Oil Mob Strategy

As an update to yesterday's post, Greenpeace USA obtained an API memo (PDF) detailing their strategy (via Huffington Post):
The email memo.. which appears to come from the desk of American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard, asks API’s member companies to recruit employees, retirees, vendors and contractors to attend “Energy Citizen” rallies in key Congressional districts nationwide in the closing weeks of the August recess. The campaign plan places a special focus on 21 states picked by API for having “a significant industry presence” or “assets on the ground.” [...]

The memo closes with a ‘for your eyes only’ plea: “Please treat this information as sensitive and ask those in your company to do so as well… we don’t want critics to know our game plan.”
Looks like API's distribution list is as leaky as the industry it represents.

UPDATE (12:42PM): Talking Points Memo has a response from API, who acknowledge their role leading a coalition against energy and climate legislation.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace asks, how can U.S. Climate Action Partnership members British Petroleum and Shell justify continuing to pay dues to API? It would seem those two bottom-line savvy companies would think that funding conflicting initiatives would make little fiscal sense. Or really, make no sense at all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Big Oil Launches Its Own Mob Strategy

Demonstrating once again that politics (and the NFL) is a copycat league, the American Petroleum Institute (API), the lobbying consortium of Big Oil, along with other groups opposing clean energy and climate legislation, is preparing to launch an offensive (pun intended) at town hall meetings during the fall, taking a page from the playbook of those groups opposed to healthcare legislation currently being debated in Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a flier currently being distributed by API channels Chicken Little claiming that that the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act would have an outsized impact on electricity prices.
As Clean Air Watch's Frank O'Donnell tells the WSJ:
“We’ve all seen those angry folks raising heck about health care...So I guess it was inevitable a special interest would try the same thing on the climate legislation...”
The flier underscores an all-out national organizing effort funded by API and other opposition that promises to be broad in scope, with 20 states already being targeted. Of course, the modeling of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office shows that the cost of enacting climate legislation would amount to about a postage stamp a day, and if you take into account savings from efficiency, many households may end up saving money.

But then again, facts have never seemed to get in the way when it comes to the scare tactics of Big Oil.