Oil Industry Memo Reveals Astroturfing Efforts

August 14, 2009 10:34 am ET — Chris Harris

Uh oh. A leaked memo from the American Petroleum Institute reveals that it is planning an astroturf extravaganza across 21 states.

Oil Industry Tries To Seed "Grassroots" Rallies

A leaked memo from the American Petroleum Institute, the trade association for the oil industry, reveals that it is planning an astroturf extravaganza across 21 states.

DeSmog Blog has more:

An internal memo obtained recently by Greenpeace USA details polluting interests' plans to launch a nationwide Astroturf campaign attacking climate legislation at public events scheduled throughout the final weeks of recess before the Senate returns to debate the issue in September.

The email memo (download a PDF copy), 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."

Taking a page from the playbook of Astroturf campaigners currently crashing health care town hall events across the country, API hopes to similarly sully productive communications between Congressmembers and their actual constituents at public events scheduled for the coming weeks.  Gerard states that API is ready to bus in company members and provide logistical support, and reveals that API has retained "a highly experienced events management company that has produced successful rallies for presidential campaigns, corporations and interest groups."

Read DeSmog Blog's whole post HERE.

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