Revealed: 5 "Grassroots" Groups Funded by Dirty Energy


Photo via Kentucky Coal

If a band of coal and oil execs decided to spread the message about the evils of climate bill--how it would force them to close refineries and coal plants, cause miners to lose their jobs, and "cripple our economy"--who would pay attention? If they showed up to anti-climate bill rallies--in limos, perhaps--to talk about how the climate bill was going to cost them 23 cents a day to kick start an attempt to avert global disaster, would anyone care? 'Course not. That's why these dirty energy execs have rounded up 'regular folks' (like their employees) to spread the message for them. They've organized a slew of fake 'citizen groups' whose aim is to appear like they're just a band of riled up everyday people who firmly believe the climate bill will destroy everything they hold dear.

These following groups are nothing but fronts whipped up by big oil and coal to protect their interests--namely, the right to continue to pollute our skies and contribute to climate change unfettered. Find out who they are and who's behind them.
Photo via America's Power Army

The "Grassroots" Group: America's Power Army


What We're Supposed to Think:
It's a "grassroots campaign" involving over 225,000 ordinary people, who show up to town hall meetings to protest the climate bill and to express concern over American job loss, how the climate bill's nothing but an 'energy tax' and so forth.

The Real Story:
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (yup, the same group who was behind all those forged anti climate bill letters--but we'll get to those later) has hired the Lincoln Strategy Group to organize this large scale "grassroots" movement. Now, the name Lincoln Strategy may ring a bell--that's because they've been involved in a smattering of well publicized voter fraud scandals throughout the course of other 'grassroots' movements they've organized. The group's been banned from Wal Mart for using shady partisan voter registration techniques, destroyed and/or removed Democrats from voter rolls in various states in documented cases, and has been notorious for misinformation campaigns (and outright lying) to drum up support for bills and causes they're hired to organize for.

This time's no different. The coal-sponsored group will visit town halls to ask misleading questions and spread misinformation (often pre-printed on fancy flyers and signs courtesy of big ol' coal) in attempts to distract from the actual discussions about the bill.

More details of the groups checkered past over at Think Progress.


The 'Grassroots' Group: Energy Citizens


What We're Supposed to Think:
A motivated group that's so fed up with the way that the climate bill will obliterate the economy and lose American jobs that they've decided to hold 20 rallies across the country to make their voices heard.

The Real Story:
Energy Citizens was dreamed up by the American Petroleum Institute, a lobbying group with ties to major players in the oil industry. API is entirely forthcoming about their goals and organizational operation in creating Energy Citizens, as this profile in the Wall Street Journal reveals. The above mentioned rallies have been described by reporters as little more than company picnics (and have been organized by oil company lobbyists)--workers from the sponsoring oil companies constitute the vast majority of 'outraged' masses there, to the point where even sympathetic, un-oil affiliated citizens are being denied entry to the events.


The "Grassroots" Group: American Energy Alliance


What We're Supposed to Think:
Come to think of it, I'm not really sure--it just sounds so phony I can't imagine anyone buying this one: it's a group of people so concerned with the proposed energy reform policies that they've grabbed a giant bus, painted it lavishly, and headed off on a cross country tour to explain how the climate bill will decimate the economy? Can anyone believe these are anything other than oil/coal company stooges?

The Real Story:
In fact, the group is the brainchild of a climate change-denying think tank run by ex-Enron speechwriter Robert Bradley, which is funded by oil industry giants like Exxon. This group touts itself as holding no allegiance to any political party, but is staffed 100% by ex-Republican House staffers. Literally--Wonk Room broke it down and found that every listed employee worked (and in reality still works) for the GOP. Thus, it's impossible to take their claims of being nonpartisan seriously--and their anti-climate bill bus tour is impossible to swallow knowing it's funded by oil money and backed by an org led by one of Enron's unrepentant chief PR people.

Discover the Rest of the Shady "Grassroots" Groups Organized by Dirty Energy on Page 2

Tags: Coal | Congress | Consumerism | Economics | Global Climate Change | Oil

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