August 20th, 2009 by Zachary Shahan
We can’t expect much from the oil industry, but Greenpeace’s newest finding is as ugly as it gets.
As if $82 million in lobbying so far this year isn’t enough, the oil industry decided to fake public concern and challenge the upcoming climate bill further than they already are through really dishonest means recently. Greenpeace received a leaked memo from the American Petroleum Institute (API) last week urging members to have their employees pretend to be typical citizens concerned about energy and the upcoming climate bill.
Greenpeace helped by leaking the memo and laying Astroturf outside the API headquarters in D.C. (the fake grassroots activism the API was engaging in is known as “astroturfing”). The Astroturf had the logos of ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron on it, some of the biggest oil players who are involved in the scandalous institute.
The memo from the API President that Greenpeace leaked told the CEOs of major companies (i.e. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and Chevron) to “indicate to your company leadership – your strong support for employee participation in the rallies” and to treat the memo as “secretive” because “we don’t want our critics to know our game plan.”
Unfortunately for Big Oil, but fortunate for the American public, many of the API’s members have actually expressed support for “cap and trade” climate legislation and someone leaked the memo.
Greenpeace states that the API was also citing economic statistics in a misleading way and the “scam makes a mockery of the public debate on climate action.” Greenpeace righteously states: “Government climate and energy policy must be based on climate science and the genuine expression of public opinion”.
For more on this story, read the Greenpeace press release or “Oil Lobby’s ‘Energy Citizens’ Astroturf Campaign Exposed”
Image credit: limonada via flickr under a Creative Commons license
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