Leaked memo: Big Oil manufacturing ˜Energy Citizen rallies to oppose clean energy reform.

Here’s a follow up to “Coal lobby hires top GOP voter-fraud company to run massive ‘grassroots’ efforts to undermine climate and clean energy action.”  This post was first published by ThinkProgress here.  See also this UK Guardian story — “Oil lobby to fund campaign against Obama’s climate change strategy.”

The American oil industry, working with a coalition of business interests, plans to manufacture rallies in opposition to clean energy reform, an internal document reveals. According to the plan acquired by Greenpeace, the American Petroleum Institute (API) will “coordinate transportation” for oil industry employees to “Energy Citizen” rallies targeting U.S. Senators in 21 states. The document’s author, API president Jack Gerard, discusses how it is “important that our views” supplant “constituents’ views”:

The objective of these rallies is to put a human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy and to aim a loud message at those states’ U.S. Senators to avoid the mistakes embodied in the House climate bill and the Obama Administration’s tax increases on our industry. Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid reportedly has pushed back consideration of climate legislation to late September to allow Senators time to get their constituents’ views during the August recess. It’s important that our views be heard.

API’s membership, which includes ExxonMobil, GE, and Halliburton, will join “allies from a broad range of interests: the Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturing, the trucking industry, the agricultural sector, small business, and many others” to create these Astroturf rallies to protect their dirty energy profits at the expense of the planet.

22 Responses to Leaked memo: Big Oil manufacturing ˜Energy Citizen rallies to oppose clean energy reform.

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    GE and ExxonMobil

    What is GE doing in there? If I were GE, given the API’s actions, I’d drop out immediately, with a big public statement. Is GE going to act responsibly with respect to the climate, or not? They can’t have it both ways.

    (Am I supposed to watch the very good MSNBC news shows in the evening, now, knowing that NBC’s parent, GE, is a member of the API, which is spreading all the misinformation? Hogwash. I won’t do it. GE, what will it be? Rachel and Keith and Chris, please be sure to tell us whether GE is a member of the API, when you report on the API disinformation campaign. Thank you.)

    This stuff is shameful.

    In my view, it is time to boycott ExxonMobil.

    Also, does anyone have the mailing addresses for the Alliance for Climate Protection, and Repower America, and the Huffington Post? I need to send some information to various folks, and theirs are the only addresses I can’t readily find.

    Be Well,


  2. Keith says:

    I don’t see how the actual people win here. We’re seeing massive corp. money taking down health care right now. Is it going to go any differently with energy/global warming? I didn’t realize how corrupted the US gov’t had become, until a President came along with some (MODESTLY) progressive ideas.

  3. Chris Winter says:

    The Alliance for Climate Protection is parent organization for Repower America, so you can probably reach both with one mailing.

    The Alliance for Climate Protection welcomes your comments, questions and feedback about all of our work. Due to the volume of incoming communications, however, please note that we may not be able to respond to all inquiries personally.

    The Alliance for Climate Protection
    901 E Street, NW Suite 610
    Washington, DC 20004
    202.628.1445 (fax)

    Comments and questions may also be submitted electronically using the form on the right.


    As for the Huffington Post, Wikipedia told me their HQ is in New YOrk City (which surprised me; I would have guessed California.) But it took Yahoo! Answers to supply the mailing address:

    560 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

  4. Erik S.G. says:

    As we think about the role of natural gas, let’s keep in mind that the API represents not just “Big Oil” but, also, “Big Natural Gas.” So, for example, one of the targeted venues is Farmington, New Mexico, ground zero for natural gas development in New Mexico (the San Juan Basin).

    These guys don’t play nice, and they don’t intend to lose or to restrict themselves to neatly-defined policy limits that may be great in theory but are quite difficult to implement and enforce in practice. To properly frame a responsible role for natural gas and ensure that it doesn’t undermine climate mitigation efforts, appropriate measures to address the politics as well as the environmental costs (climate and otherwise) should be accounted for up front, and as a priority, not an afterthought.

    Erik S.G.

  5. Jeff Huggins says:

    Super. Thanks Chris!

  6. Will says:

    Jeff, how about boycotting oil? I got off it this summer and am doing fine. Grease the chains, check the brakes, inflate the tires and hit the road on your bike. If you live too far away from work or have too many hills, Best Buy has a new line of electric bikes.

  7. Alex J says:

    Jeff, I’ve personally been boycotting ExxonMobil for years. Even though I’m just one person refusing to support such a huge, profitable corporation, it’s a matter of principle over convenience. I don’t even buy their motor oil anymore. Can’t wait for the next generation of more affordable hybrids – then I can be more selective among remaining gas stations in my area. There’s at least one more that could make my avoidance list for back-peddling on green initiatives and boosting investment in tar sands.

  8. lizardo says:

    My comment didn’t post or it would have been first, ah well, trying again. We need to educate the local media in these markets as to what these events are and aren’t.

    DETAILS: 8/18 (11:30 AM). Houston, TX. Verizon Wireless Center.

    8/20 (11.30 AM) Roswell, NM. Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, Arts and Crafts Building

    8/20 5.30 PM Greensboro, NC. Greensboro Coliseum.

    8/21 (11:30 AM). Lima, OH Veterans’ Memorial and Civic Center.

    8/21 (11:30 AM) Farmington, NM. Convention Center at McGee Park

    8/22 (11:30 AM). Atlanta, GA. Marriott Century Center.

    8/25 (11.30 AM) Nashville, TN. Wild Horse Saloon.

    8/25 (11:00 AM). Elkhart, IN. RV Hall of Fame.

    8/25 (TBD) Greeley, CO. Island Grove Regional Park, Exhibit Hall

    8/27 (11:30 AM). St. Louis, MO Hilton at the Ballpark.

    8/27 (5.:00 PM) Tampa FL, Tampa Convention Center

    8/27 (TBD). Bismarck, ND National Center of Energy Excellence at Bismarck State College, 4th Floor

    8/31 (TBD). Anchorage, AK Anchorage Convention Center

    8/31 (5:00 PM). Greenville, SC. Carolina First Center.

    9/1 Springfield IL Time TBD Venue TBD

    9/3 (Time TBD) Detroit MI Burton Manor Banquet and Conference Center.

    9/3 (4:30 PM). Philadelphia, PA. Venue TBD.

    9/3 Richmond, VA. TBD.

    9/5 (2:30 PM). Lincoln, NE. Embassy Suites Lincoln.

    9/7 (1:15 3 2:15 PM). Huron, SD. Freedom Stage, South Dakota State Fair

  9. Alex J says:

    Will, that’s a very good idea (at least in half-decent weather) for those who don’t have much of a commute. I walk or bike as much as possible locally. I’m hoping the available options (including for those married to their cars) will expand more rapidly once fossil carbon legislation and additional incentives are enacted.

  10. Jeff Huggins says:

    OK It’s Time

    In my view, it’s time (way past time) for real people — often called “consumers” in market nomenclature — to speak up and to STOP BUYING the products of companies that are not being honest, are trying to confuse us, are acting to delay responsible action, and/or who aren’t being responsible on the climate change problem.

    First, all things considered, I think it would be responsible, warranted, and necessary to stop buying ExxonMobil products. Period.

    If you need gasoline during the transition period (before you shift to electric or other vastly improved approach), get it from the number three or number five or etc. company, ideally some company that at least isn’t trying to confuse us and block legislation. ExxonMobil is not a company you want to buy from, if you have any care whatsoever about the future. I’ve studied them.

    Second, there are some lower-profile (but huge) companies that are not behaving well. For example, learn about Koch (pronounced as in “coke”, I believe), the huge privately-held company. Although it would surprise most people, they own Georgia-Pacific, the maker of Quilted Northern bath tissues, Dixie cups, and Brawny paper towels, among many other brands. If I were you, I would stop buying those products and other Georgia-Pacific products. No joking. Many companies won’t become responsible unless their profits suffer when they aren’t responsible. If you think you can reason with many of them, forget it. Speak with your pocketbook. Stop buying their products, and let your friends know too.

    And, what is this about GE being a member of the API? If that’s the case, I hope that ClimateProgress will follow the matter and let us know whether or not GE resigns from the API as the API confusion campaign begins.

    [JR: Not really — see list here. “GENERAL ELECTRIC INSPECTION SERVICES” doesn’t quite count as GE, I think. But I suppose that is debatable. The API link to GEIS is broken, however.]

    Although my concerns are aroused when large companies mislead the public, block responsible action, and behave irresponsibly with respect to the climate and future of humankind, I haven’t arrived at these conclusions (about boycotts and etc.) lightly, without study, or without some background: I was a chemical engineer from Berkeley and am a scientist at heart. I’ve worked in the oil industry, in research and engineering. I have a very good understanding of business and businesses: I was a Baker Scholar at Harvard and have been a consultant with McKinsey and Company, in New York and San Francisco. I’ve been an exec at Disney. From what I’ve seen on the part of some companies (e.g., ExxonMobil), they’ve gone way past a line, and they are knowingly behaving irresponsibly when it comes to your children’s future, the future environment, other species, and the future condition of the planet. It’s time to say — NO!

    Please, Joe, when you have a chance, tell us if it’s true that GE is a member of the API.

    And don’t forget: No more Quilted Northern. Send a message to the Koch folks.

    (If we aren’t willing to stop buying products from these sorts of folks, we’ll get what we deserve.)



  11. I’ve been an ethical shopper for 10 years… No ExxonMobil, no Oreo Cookies, no Nike sneakers. It’s the only real way that I have power to effect change.

    But I’d be right there with full court press against ExxonMobil… I’ve been toying with a boycott Exxon campaign at One Blue Marble, and putting any money raised from the bumper stickers and T-Shirts to a nonprofit campaign that slows global warming and advances social justice by providing solar lights in India and Africa.

    Maybe if enough of us little guy gets involved, it will make a difference. Together we are mighty!

    And Joe, you might want to have a look at the API list again… GE Energy is there, front and center. I posted the link at OBM.

  12. My last comment is being moderated, and so it might no appear. But it finished with a comment about the API list again… GE Energy is there, front and center. I posted the link at OBM.

  13. Jeff Huggins says:

    General Electric and the API?

    (Thanks Richard.)

    Yep. It seems that GE Energy is there, under “GE OIL & GAS CONMEC”. At least, that’s where the link goes.

    So we have a question for GE: Are you going to remain a member of the API, while it tries to confuse the public and delay responsible action on climate change? If so, what am I supposed to think when I watch MSNBC in the evenings? While they are (hopefully) offering penetrating coverage of the API’s antics, and ExxonMobil’s, and etc., will they also be sure to point out that GE itself is a member of the API? Or perhaps I’ll just stop watching NBC and MSNBC.

    My hope is that you’ll promptly exit the API and make a public statement in doing so.

    Please let us know. Transparency appreciated.


  14. J4zonian says:


    I don’t believe anyone here criticized any company for advertizing. Rather, the outrage is for enormous corporations who hide their anti-science, anti-human and anti-life lies behind a screen of professional organizations intended to look amateur, democratic and unconnected to the corporation. Not sure how that could possibly apply to Greenpeace, but if you have specific instances, please reveal them.

    And Keith,

    Here’s how we win: we don’t buy what they’re selling.

    …either in reality or metaphorically. The “actual people” are roughly 6 billion; the people who have made these decisions about how corporate money gets spents (gets bent, did you say?) are what–a few hundred?

    I think we can take em.

    I don’t believe what they say, and I suspect unless you are a troll trying to spread despair with your Borgian “Resistance is futile” message, you don’t believe it either. If we’re smart enough to know better, aren’t others? Or can’t we help them to be?

  15. J4zonian says:

    OK I saved the page while doing other tings and then answered without refreshing, only to find one person I was answering has been deleted and the other buried way up there at the top. Sorry.

  16. Mike#22 says:

    When do these corporate organized events cross the line into fomenting unrest within our own borders?

    DHS must be busy.

  17. jorleh says:

    But it`s your job to knock down the criminals, Joe.

  18. Keith says:

    are there web-sites listing the products of the worst of the anti-science, anti-labor corps? Thanks!

  19. lizardo says:

    There was a segment several months ago on Bill Moyers’ Journal with Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and a new book Ecological Intelligence. He has set up a website as a one-stop source of info on ethical shopping.

  20. Daniel Goleman does indeed advocate for transparency tools, such as, to help consumers examine the total impacts of their purchasing decisions. He writes about GoodGuide in his book, however, it was founded by a UC Berkeley professor named Dara O’Rourke. You can read more about GoodGuide’s origins by visiting Then search or browse over 70,000 products to learn more about the health, social and environmental performance of the stuff you buy!

  21. Alexx says:

    Big Oil companies use these kinds of tactics all the time. Check out this video about Chevron’s attempts to weazel out of a $27 billion lawsuit brought by communities affected by their polluting practices in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Even Andy Rooney hates the dirty tricks Chevron is using!

  22. David Levy says:

    There are several reasons why oil companies might be going back to the carbon war tactics of the 1990s – they are getting out of renewables, they smell weakness in the administration, and they want to shift costs to other sectors – check out Carbon Wars II: The Sequel for my blog posting on this.