Massive Oil Lobby Spending Sets Stage for Bogus “Citizen” Rallies

The oil and gas industry went hog wild with lobbying in 2009 to defeat climate legislation and industry reforms, says a series of reports this week from the independent Center for Responsive Politics.  They spent $175 million, more than ever before, dwarfing environmental groups by nearly eight times.  Astroturf thepublicinterest.freedomblogging

Intent on continued obstruction of clean energy and oil industry reforms that could avert future tragedies like the BP disaster, they are now shamelessly about to sponsor phony citizen rallies in five states in September. The staged rallies are often referred to as “astroturf” since they attempt to fake grassroots support. Their spin is that they’re keeping the economy afloat through profligate polluting and spilling, and reining them in through improved safety or pollution reduction would cost jobs.

The American Petroleum Industry, the industry’s largest trade group, will likely stock the event with paid employees in an effort to stop the repeal of tax breaks and increasing liability on companies for oil their disasters.

As we’ve reported here before, the industry has actually cut jobs by about ten percent over the last decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  But why let facts get in the way?

The rallies will be held in the Texas cities of Houston, Beaumont and Corpus Christi on Sept 1. Meetings are also planned in Canton, Ohio; Peoria, Illinois; Grand Junction, Colorado; and Farmington, New Mexico, through early September.