The American Petroleum Institute (API) is asking oil companies to encourage their employees, retirees, vendors and contractors to participate in rallies against climate-change legislation.
Greenpeace obtained a memo by API President Jack Gerard and leaked it to the press. The memo refers to rallies planned in 20 different states to protest "unsound energy policy."
Critics say the oil industry is working to manufacture the appearance of grass roots opposition. Similar complaints have been made about members within the health care industry that have been accused of "astroturfing" town hall meetings this month.
The Financial Times first reported on the leaked memo Saturday.
Excerpts from the memo:
"Please indicate to your company leadership your strong
support for employee participation in the rallies.
(Unfortunately, we are already experiencing some delay from
your regional people since they are not yet aware that
headquarters supports the effort.)"
"Please treat this information as sensitive and ask those in your company to do so as well, as some of these places may be subject to change, and we don’t want critics to know our game plan. You can assume with confidence that the advocates for Waxman-Markey-like legislation and the critics of oil and gas are going to be very active, particularly during the August recess."
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