At a “grassroots” rally organized by the American Petroleum Institute in Houston on Tuesday, activists bearing American flags were turned away. Oil company employees were bused in to the “Energy Citizens” gathering to hear billionaire Drayton McLane Jr. attack President Barack Obama’s clean energy agenda as an economy-destroying energy tax. However, grassroots tea-party activists told Public Citizen Texas that they and their American flags were refused entry to the company picnic:
They said, “We won’t let you have an American flag either.” They said they won’t let you have this, and then the guy touched this, the American flag.
The activists were invited by Dick Armey’s Astroturf organization Freedomworks, one of the participating organizations in the new Energy Citizens coalition. While the tea party patriots were locked out, employees of the oil giants Chevron, Anadarko Energy, Halliburton, ConocoPhillips, and others were “invited to participate” and bused to the event on company time.