Big Oil Takes Cue From Town Hall Mobs

Mimicking the recent spate of obstructionist rallies organized to protest health care reform, big oil and allies are coordinating demonstrations to snuff out constructive clean energy legislation, allegedly asking  employees and other ‘plants’ to help swell their numbers at public events.

The interest group will launch a campaign aimed at pressuring the Senate to make injurious changes to a recent House-passed bill, the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

The sponsor group organizing and funding the gatherings is a mix of conservative advocacy organizations and business and industry groups, including the American Petroleum Institute.

Materials in production for the rallies contain dubious claims about the economic toll of clean energy legislation, including hype that it will cost jobs and raise costs for average Americans despite recent non-partisan analyses to the contrary.

News of the campaign comes in the wake of the discovery of a fraudulent letter-writing operation in opposition to clean energy legislation, and in the midst of a broader debate on the merit of sponsor-engineered ‘astroturf’ activism.

Published: August 19, 2009