Big Oil, Climate Bill, and Lies

Written By Nick Hodge

Posted August 20, 2009

In case intentionally meddling with health care town halls wasn’t distasteful enough for you, the opposition to the energy bill in Congress has taken up the same tactics.

According to, "In the weeks before the U.S. Senate takes up climate-change legislation, the oil industry and other opponents of a proposed federal cap on carbon dioxide emissions seek to build a political firewall that will stop the legislation in its tracks."

The tactic they used? To WSJ again:

More than 3,000 oil company employees on Tuesday flocked to a downtown Houston venue to listen to anti-climate bill spokesmen. . . The attendees were handed yellow T-shirts with slogans like Higher energy taxes wipe out American jobs."

A lot of them were bused in by their employers and asked to send letters to their Senators urging them to vote down the Waxman-Markey bill passed by the House. Country music star Trace Adkins, a former oil worker, set the tone in a video: "We need to remind (Washington) that the laws they pass can hurt real people, people like you and your families."

Sound familiar? It’s the same as packing open forums on healthcare with lie-stuffed sheeple and having them shout over those trying to calm discussions.

And the Houston rally won’t be an isolated event. There will be several more such faux rallies, orchestrated by the invisible hand of the American Petroleum Institute, as this 19-state campaign plays out.

You read that right. This is a 19-state campaign of "demonstrations" against the Waxman-Markey bill, but the demonstrators have have been bused in by their employers—the oil companies—and force fed not only what to say, but t-shirts that say it for them.

And that’s what makes this so bad. It’s not the view of the taxpayer or the citizen or the constituent. It’s purely the view of the oil corporations.

A recent survey in the very state where the rally was held found that "85% of those polled believe Texas should increase the production and use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Of those, 59% "strongly" favor increasing production of renewable energy. "

It also found that "more than 79% of Texans, including 71% of Republicans and 73% of self-identified conservatives, support financial incentives, such as loans, subsidies and temporary tax reductions to recruit renewable energy businesses and associated jobs to Texas." (The survey was conducted by Baselice & Associates, Inc. The margin of error to the results of the total sample is +/- 3.2%.)

What’s more, another study recently came out showing that renewable energy, particularly wind power, is actually lowering electricity rates in Texas—contrary to oil company claims that renewables increase electricity costs—because it prevents costly nat-gas plants from being fired up.

And over the past year, according the EIA, "renewables share of generation in the Lone Star State jumped 30%."

As for the notion, and the t-shirts, that claims higher energy energy taxes wipe out American jobs. . . that’s of course false, too. Several unions that represent carbon-intensive industries have come out in recent days in support of the climate bill, including the United Steelworkers and the Service Employees International Union.

They say any lost jobs lost in the industries would more than be made up for with new green jobs.

So the bill would reduce emissions, reduce oil dependence, and create jobs in clean energy fields.

No wonder the oil industry is turning to fear-mongering. No real facts support their cause.

Call it like you see it,


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