Lobbyists for Big Oil Organizing Most “Grassroots” ‘Energy Citizens’ Rallies

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
on

Grist took a deeper look at a list of “local organizers” of the Astroturf ‘Energy Citizens’ rallies and discovered that most of them are actually oil industry lobbyists.  Go figure.  Since the American Petroleum Institute cooked up the idea for these ‘grassroots’ events to mimic the health care town hall rent-a-mobs, it makes sense that Big Oil’s lobbyists would do the ‘community organizing’ necessary to pull off this charade.

Grist found that registered oil industry lobbyists are behind 15 of the 21 planned rallies, which look more like ‘glorified company picnics’ than spontaneous grassroots gatherings of concerned citizens. 
Check out Grist’s list of the lobbyists organizing these “grassroots” rallies:

•    Greensboro, N.C., rally organizer Bill Weatherspoon is a registered lobbyist for API in North Carolina.
•    Lima, Ohio, organizer Terry Fleming is a registered lobbyist for the Ohio Petroleum Council.
•    Atlanta, Ga., organizer Ric Cobb is a registerd lobbyist for the Georgia Petroleum Council.
•    Elkhart, Ind., organizer Maggie McShane lobbies on behalf of the Indiana Petroleum Council.
•    Nashville, Tenn., organizer Mike Williams is a registered lobbyist for API.
•    Bismarck, N.D., organizer Ron Ness is a former registered lobbyist for the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
•    Tampa, Fla., organizer David Mica registered lobbyist for the Florida Petroleum Council.
•    St. Louis, Mo., organizer Ryan Rowden is a registered lobbyist for the Missouri Petroleum Council.
•    Greenville, S.C., organizer Kay Clamp is a registered lobbyist for the South Carolina Petroleum Council.
•    Lincoln, Neb., point of contact Chris Abboud is a registered lobbyist for the Agri-Business Association of Nebraska.
•    Springfield, Ill., organizer Dave Sykuta is a registered lobbyist [PDF] for API.
•    Detroit, Mich., organizer John Griffin is a registered lobbyist for the Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan.
•    Richmond, Va., organizer Mike Ward is a registered lobbyist for API in Virginia.
•    Philadelphia, Pa., organizer Rolf Hanson registered lobbyist for API in Pennsylvania.
•    Huron, S.D., organizer Tim Dougherty is a registered lobbyist.
•    And in Farmington, N.M., rally organizer Wendi Schuur is the director of public and community affairs at Devon Energy, an oil and gas company.

Brendan DeMelle DeSmog
Brendan is Executive Director of DeSmog. He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and energy. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets.

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