The Dernogalizer

August 14, 2009

“Game Plan Known”

The American Petroleum Institute  is planning to launch a major astroturf campaign in the coming weeks to try in gin up “opposition” to climate legislation in the Senate.  I saw this first on The Huffington Post by Kevin Grandia, who has provided the once secret memo uncovered by Greenpeace.  The contents of the pdf are a letter by Phil Radford, the Executive Director of Greenpeace to the President of API calling him out.  Below that is the memo sent by API to its allies.  The best part of this is the context is which Radford closes his letter descrbing how API asked for it’s memo not to be divulged so that their gameplan is not known by critics.  Radford says “game plan known”.  The contents are copied below.

Jack Gerard
President and CEO
American Petroleum Institute
1220 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4070
August 12, 2009
Dear Mr. Gerard,
Today we obtained a memo (attached below) from one of our supporters detailing your
organization’s plans for a “Energy Citizen” astroturf campaign in the two weeks before Labor
Day and continuing into the fall. Can you verify if this email is from your office and to whom it
was addressed?
It would logically appear that the “Energy Citizen” campaign’s objective is to defeat climate
change regulation. This goal runs contrary to several prominent API members’ public support for
climate action, namely Shell, BP America, ConocoPhillips, General Electric and Siemens. These
companies are all a part of the pro cap-and-trade U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which has
publicly supported the Waxman-Markey bill. In addition, most members of USCAP are also
members of the Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, named
partners in your “Energy Citizen” campaign. Can you explain the contradictory objectives of
supporting cap-and-trade on one hand and working to defeat it on the other? And also reveal if
any API members opted out of the “Energy Citizen” effort?
Furthermore, do you intend to reveal at these rallies which of your members are providing
funding for the campaign? – (i.e. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, and General Electric)
We think it is incumbent upon you to disclose that the Heritage Foundation report cited as your
source for $4-a-gallon gasoline was funded by ExxonMobil and that the Foundation in fact
concluded that the Waxman-Markey bill would drive gasoline prices to $4 before 2035, 25 years
from now. In the interest of a factual discussion of climate legislation, will you also be
conveying to your rally attendees that the EPA has estimated the overall cost of the climate
legislation at only 22-30 cents per day, under $100 per year, with broad economic benefits for
consumers from energy efficiency gains stimulated by the bill.
Finally, it seems that at least one of your members sought to reveal this cynical public relations
campaign and did not heed your advice to “Please treat this information as sensitive and ask those
in your company to do so as well… we don’t want critics to know our game plan.”
Game plan known.
Sincerely,
Phil Radford
Executive Director
Greenpeace US
Cc: USCAP Membership, Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers

Jack Gerard

President and CEO

American Petroleum Institute

1220 L Street, NW

Washington, DC 20005-4070

August 12, 2009

Dear Mr. Gerard,

Today we obtained a memo (attached below) from one of our supporters detailing your

organization’s plans for a “Energy Citizen” astroturf campaign in the two weeks before Labor

Day and continuing into the fall. Can you verify if this email is from your office and to whom it

was addressed?

It would logically appear that the “Energy Citizen” campaign’s objective is to defeat climate

change regulation. This goal runs contrary to several prominent API members’ public support for

climate action, namely Shell, BP America, ConocoPhillips, General Electric and Siemens. These

companies are all a part of the pro cap-and-trade U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which has

publicly supported the Waxman-Markey bill. In addition, most members of USCAP are also

members of the Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers, named

partners in your “Energy Citizen” campaign. Can you explain the contradictory objectives of

supporting cap-and-trade on one hand and working to defeat it on the other? And also reveal if

any API members opted out of the “Energy Citizen” effort?

Furthermore, do you intend to reveal at these rallies which of your members are providing

funding for the campaign? – (i.e. ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips, and General Electric)

We think it is incumbent upon you to disclose that the Heritage Foundation report cited as your

source for $4-a-gallon gasoline was funded by ExxonMobil and that the Foundation in fact

concluded that the Waxman-Markey bill would drive gasoline prices to $4 before 2035, 25 years

from now. In the interest of a factual discussion of climate legislation, will you also be

conveying to your rally attendees that the EPA has estimated the overall cost of the climate

legislation at only 22-30 cents per day, under $100 per year, with broad economic benefits for

consumers from energy efficiency gains stimulated by the bill.

Finally, it seems that at least one of your members sought to reveal this cynical public relations

campaign and did not heed your advice to “Please treat this information as sensitive and ask those

in your company to do so as well… we don’t want critics to know our game plan.”

Game plan known.

Sincerely,

Phil Radford

Executive Director

Greenpeace US

Cc: USCAP Membership, Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers

———————————————————————————————————————

COPY OF EMAIL FROM AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE TO ITS

MEMBERSHIP – OBTAINED BY GREENPEACE – AUGUST 2009

Dear API Member Company CEO/Executive,

As I have outlined in the past few editions of the weekly

“Executive Update,” API is coordinating a series of “Energy

Citizen” rallies in about 20 states across the country

during the last two weeks of Congress’s August recess. Most

of these will be held at noontime, though some may be at

different times in order to piggyback on other events.

Thanks to the leadership of API’s Executive Committee, I am

pleased to report that we have strong support for this

first-ever effort moving ahead. Now we are asking all API

members to get involved.

The objective of these rallies is to put a human face on the

impacts of unsound energy policy and to aim a loud message

at those states’ U.S. Senators to avoid the mistakes

embodied in the House climate bill and the Obama

Administration’s tax increases on our industry. Senate

Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid reportedly has pushed

back consideration of climate legislation to late September

to allow Senators time to get their constituents’ views

during the August recess. It’s important that our views be

heard.

At the rallies, we will focus our message on two points: the

adverse impacts of unsound energy policy (e.g., Waxman-

Markey-like legislation, tax increases, and access

limitations) on jobs and on consumers’ energy costs. And we

will call on the Senate to oppose unsound energy policy and

“get it right.”

Recent opinion research that Harris Interactive conducted

for API demonstrates that our messages on Waxman-Markey-like

legislation work extremely well and are very persuasive with

the general public and policy influentials. After hearing

that Waxman-Markey-like legislation could increase the costs

of gasoline to around $4 and lead to significant job losses,

these audiences changed their opinions on the bill

significantly. Opposition to the bill within the policy

influentials cohort grew 23 points, from 40% to 63%; with a

19 point increase in those who now “strongly” oppose the

legislation. The data clearly demonstrate the softness of

support of the current approach and very strong opposition

when people are educated about the potential job losses and

energy cost increases. Our expectation is to translate

peoples’ real concerns for job losses and increased energy

costs to all unsound proposals (e.g., Waxman-Markey-like

legislation, tax increases, and access limitations).

We have identified 11 states with a significant industry

presence and 10 other states where we have assets on the

ground. We also have attracted allies from a broad range of

interests: the Chamber of Commerce and NAM , the trucking

industry, the agricultural sector, small business, and many

others, including a significant number of consumer groups,

which have pledged to have their membership join in the

events in states where they have a strong presence. We also

are collaborating closely with the allied oil and natural

gas industry associations on these events.

While such efforts are never easy and the risk of failure is

always present, we must move aggressively in preparation for

the post-Labor Day debate on energy, climate and taxes.

The measure of success for these events will be the

diversity of the participants expressing the same message,

as well as turnouts of several hundred attendees. In the 11

states with an industry core, our member company local

leadership—including your facility manager’s commitment to

provide significant attendance—is essential to achieving the

participation level that Senators cannot ignore. In

addition, please include all vendors, suppliers,

contractors, retirees and others who have an interest in our

success.

To be clear, API will provide the up-front resources to

ensure logistical issues do not become a problem. This

includes contracting with a highly experienced events

management company that has produced successful rallies for

presidential campaigns, corporations and interest groups. It

also includes coordination with the other interests who

share our views on the issues, providing a field coordinator

in each state, conducting a comprehensive communications and

advocacy activation plan for each state, and serving as

central manager for all events.

We are asking all API members to assist in these August

activities. The size of the company does not matter, and

every participant adds to the strength of our collective

voice. We need two actions from each participating company.

ACTION NEEDED

Please provide us with the name of one central coordinator

for your company’s involvement in the rallies. (We will look

to this person as your representative to assist the overall

effort.) If you will let me know ASAP, we can be in touch

quickly and provide that person with additional details

about the project.

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.) I believe that expression

of support to your company leadership is a fundamental

predicate to organizing quickly and achieving success in

this endeavor.

The list of tentative venues is attached. 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.

Once the list of venues and exact rally dates are

determined, we will contact your company’s coordinator to

distribute the information internally and to coordinate

transportation to the venues, if required, for your

employees. In the meantime, your company’s coordinator could

assist us by telling us in which of the venues listed below

your company has facilities or employees who can

participate.

I look forward to working with you to make the August rally

project and the other advocacy steps we are undertaking to

deliver the policy outcomes we support with measurable

results. Don’t hesitate to call me with questions.

All the best,

JACK

Jack N. Gerard

President & CEO

API

Tentative Venues

Houston TX

Perry GA

Detroit MI

Roswell NM

Greensboro NC

Farmington NM

Ohio (venue being finalized)

Greeley CO

Nashville TN

Indiana (venue being finalized)

Bismarck ND

Tampa FL

Sioux Falls SD

Greenville SC

Anchorage AK

Joliet IL

Charleston WV

Fairfax VA

Philadelphia PA

Lincoln NE

Missouri TBD

Arkansas TBD

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2 Comments »

  1. […] Cross-posted from: here […]

    Pingback by “Game Plan Known” « It’s Getting Hot In Here — August 14, 2009 @ 1:40 am | Reply

  2. […] Cross-posted from: here […]

    Pingback by “Game Plan Known” | CCAN Blog — August 14, 2009 @ 2:03 pm | Reply


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