Another Astroturf Campaign


It was probably only a matter of time, but the oil lobby has taken a page from the anti-health-care-reform manual in an effort to drum up opposition to climate change legislation in Congress. Behind the overall effort — billed, naturally, as a grass-roots citizen movement — lie the string-pullers at the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s main trade organization and a wily, well-funded veteran of the legislative wars.

Greenpeace, the advocacy group, uncovered a letter last month from the A.P.I. president, Jack Gerard, to industry C.E.O.’s revealing that the campaign’s central objective is to “put a human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy,” specifically the Waxman-Markey bill recently passed by the House.