"More Info Comes to Light on 'Energy Citizen' Rallies"

"News broke on Friday that the American Petroleum Institute is urging member companies to recruit their employees, retirees, vendors, and contractors to attend 'Energy Citizen' events across the country over the August congressional recess. Today, we have some updates to the story: 

It's not just energy interests backing the astroturf efforts; major conservative and anti-tax groups are jumping in. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers are both part of the coalition, and API tells TPMMuckraker that its campaign is funded by a variety of corporate and conservative groups --including 60 Plus, FreedomWorks, the American Conservative Union, National Taxpayers Union, and Americans for Tax Reform.

The groups' astroturf campaign focuses on 21 states that have 'a significant industry presence' or 'assets on the ground.' American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard wrote in a memo [PDF] that the intent is to put a 'human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy' and urge senators to 'avoid the mistakes embodied in the House climate bill' that was passed in June."

Kate Sheppard reports for Grist August 17, 2009.

See Also:

"Oil Group's 'Citizen' Rally Memo Stirs Debate" (Washington Post)

"Big Oil Holding 'Town Halls' on Climate Bill" (Grist)

"National Association of Manufacturers Claims Climate Bill Would Crush Economy" (Grist)

"Oil Lobby's 'Energy Citizens' Astroturf Campaign Exposed" (Huffington Post)

"Oil Indus Takes Cue From Heath Debate, Staging CO2 Bill Rallies" (Dow Jones Newswires)

Energy Cos Use Grassroots Astroturf Strategy For Climate Bill (Dow Jones Newswires)

"Astroturfing the Climate Bill" (Wall St. Journal)

"Oil and Gas Industries Fuel Unruly Townhall Meetings" (Media Matters)

"Greenpeace Reveals Polluters' Plan To 'Astroturf' Against Climate Reform" (Raw Story)

Source: Grist, 08/18/2009