Killing the Climate, from API to Tom Donohue


January 11, 2010

“The Climate Killers” is a great feature in the current issue of Rolling Stone magazine that profiles some of the most powerful polluter lobbyists and what they’ve been doing to derail efforts to address global warming. A few of the seventeen guys might surprise you, but a lot of them are the same old CEOs, politicians, and industry-paid deniers that have spent so many years blocking progress toward a clean energy future. Here’s what it says about Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute:

According to an internal memo leaked in August, Gerard directed API’s nearly 400 member companies to mobilize their employees to attend “Energy Citizen” rallies in 20 states to protest a cap on carbon pollution. To ensure the success of the fake grass-roots protests, Gerard bragged that he had also enlisted a bevy of polluting allies — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. “Please treat this information as sensitive,” Gerard cautioned in the memo. “We don’t want critics to know our game plan.”

Greenpeace has been taking on the American Petroleum Institute, Big Oil’s top lobbying group, and other powerful corporate interests with a vested interest in keeping America addicted to fossil fuels for years. After we exposed API’s astroturf campaign to fake “grassroots” opposition to climate legislation, we’ve kept up the pressure as the lobby group paid Newsweek to host an energy forum with lawmakers inside the Capitol Building. On his way out, we confronted Gerard, demanding to know how much he paid for access to the halls of power:

Career climate skeptic Fred Singer also made the cut, as did columnist George Will and, of course, Exxonmobil’s Rex Tillerson.

And no list of polluter lobbyists would be complete without the US Chamber of Commerce’s Tom Donohue. From the Rolling Stone article:

As the de facto chief of American business and industry, Donohue has turned the biggest lobbying presence on Capitol Hill into the biggest friend of climate polluters. In the first nine months of last year, the Chamber spent $65 million — three times more than ExxonMobil — mounting a campaign to block Congress from placing limits on carbon pollution.

Under Donohue’s leadership, and at the behest of a few coal company CEOs on its board of directors like Massey Coal’s Don Blankenship (yep, also on the list), the US Chamber’s campaign against global warming solutions has led major companies like Apple to quit the industry group. And when the US Chamber toured the country this past summer, Donohue’s CEO agenda was confronted with protests again and again.

For the complete story on how Big Oil and Coal are blocking meaningful climate legislation, check out the full article, “As the World Burns”

, and stay tuned to the GPUSA blogs and for more on these and other polluter lobbyists.


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