Whoopsie. The Western States Petroleum Association accidentally let slip its strategy document detailing how the oil and gas lobbying front seeks to undermine clean energy laws, especially California’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020:
Specifically, the deck from a presentation by WSPA President Catherine Reheis-Boyd lays out the construction of what environmentalists contend is an elaborate “astroturf campaign.” Groups with names such as Oregon Climate Change Campaign, Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy, and AB 32 Implementation Group are made to look and sound like grassroots citizen-activists while promoting oil industry priorities and actually working against the implementation of AB 32.
It’s a similar strategy pursued by chemical interests, when they set up a fake firefighter group to keep in place California’s counter-productive flame retardant regulation, which retarded no flames while poisoning kids and firefighters alike when buildings burned.
It’s nice to see this approach exposed for everyone to see. The front groups have thankfully so far failed to motivate the public, but advocates should be wary of this tactic. In the right political climate, it could make a big difference in undermining public support for vital environmental laws. Here’s a hard-to-read chart from the slide deck of all the fake groups they fund (hard to read because they fund so many phony groups):