NYT: "An Industry With Much At Stake - Big Oil - Is Pulling The Strings."

August 19, 2009 9:59 am ET — Chris Harris

On August 19, 2009, the New York Times published a revealing article detailing just how far the oil industry will go to manufacture the appearance of grassroots support for their anti-clean energy crusade.

Astroturfing At Its Best

On August 19, 2009, the New York Times published a revealing article detailing just how far the oil industry will go to manufacture the appearance of grassroots support for their anti-clean energy crusade. 

Key excerpts include:

Hard on the heels of the health care protests, another citizen movement seems to have sprung up, this one to oppose Washington's attempts to tackle climate change. But behind the scenes, an industry with much at stake - Big Oil - is pulling the strings.

[...]

The event on Tuesday was organized by a group called Energy Citizens, which is backed by the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's main trade group. Many of the people attending the demonstration were employees of oil companies who work in Houston and were bused from their workplaces.

This was the first of a series of about 20 rallies planned for Southern and oil-producing states to organize resistance to proposed legislation that would set a limit on emissions of heat-trapping gases, requiring many companies to buy emission permits. Participants described the system as an energy tax that would undermine the economy of Houston, the nation's energy capital.

[...]

For its part, the oil industry plans to raise the pressure in coming weeks through its public rallies so that it can negotiate more favorable terms in the Senate than it got in the House. The strategy was outlined by the American Petroleum Institute in a memorandum sent to its members,which include Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. The memorandum, not meant for the public, was obtained by the environmental group Greenpeace last week.

Read the entire article HERE

The New York Times also included a picture of "supporters" at the rally, noting that "oil companies bused in their employees."

As Media Matters Action Network has noted, the "Energy Citizens" coalition is made up of dozens of big businesses and industry groups from across the country. 

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