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    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook on Amazon

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“Astroturf Activism”: Leaked Memo Reveals Oil Industry Effort to Stage Rallies Against Climate Legislation

“Astroturf Activism”: Leaked Memo Reveals Oil Industry Effort to Stage Rallies Against Climate Legislation

JUAN GONZALEZ: The oil industry appears to be turning to the tactics of right-wing opponents to healthcare reform in order to derail federal climate change legislation. In a leaked memo obtained by Greenpeace, the American Petroleum Institute asked member oil companies to help recruit employees, retirees and contractors to participate in anti-climate bill rallies being held in twenty-two cities across the country this month.

The leaked internal email from American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard says it’s organizing the so-called Energy Citizens rallies to, quote, “put a human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy” and calls on member companies to achieve a, quote, “participation level Senators cannot ignore.” It lists venues in states with, quote, “significant industry presence” and “assets on the ground.”

The first few rallies were held this week in Houston, Texas; Roswell, New Mexico; and Greensboro, North Carolina. Oil companies bused in an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 employees and retirees to the lunchtime event in Houston on Wednesday. The watchdog group Public Citizen said ordinary citizens were barred from the Houston rally and described it as a, quote, “company picnic.”

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