Monday, October 19, 2009

Consumer Energy Alliance: Another Astroturf Front Group

Via Kleinheider we learn of yet another fake “grassroots” organization targeting climate change legislation. This one calls itself the Consumer Energy Alliance and it is now running TV ads in Tennessee telling us scary things about low carbon fuel standards.

I asked the Great Gazoogle to tell me more about the Consumer Energy Alliance and it told me the only “consumers” allied with this professional astroturfing outfit are those duped into believing it’s not a cleverly disguised bunch of K-Street lobbyists for the oil industry.

But I did my own research. I followed the linky-links from the Consumer Energy Alliance’s website. The LCFS campaign website is “” I looked at their contact list and got this:

I did a check on the phone number and found it is the main number for the Institute For Energy Research. Chris Tucker, the press contact for SecureOurFuels (and Consumer Energy Alliance, as his e-mail address indicates), is also listed as the press contact for the IER.

And who is the IER? The IER board consists of the usual petroleum/energy industry suspects and American Enterprise Institute scoundrels. Folks like Preston Marshall, president of oil exploration company MarOpCo (of the creepy old bazillionaire-who-married-Anna-Nicole-Smith Marshalls).

And Wayne Gable, Managing Director of Federal Affairs for Koch Industries. Ah, it always comes back to Koch Industries, doesn’t it?

Gable is also president of the Charles G. Koch Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Foundation. According to Wikipedia the Lambe Foundation funds.... you guessed it ... the Institute for Energy Research.

I have one question: what will happen when Koch Industries runs out of money?

Of course, you just need to look through the Consumer Energy Alliance’s publications list to see lots of pro-drilling titles and know these folks are fossil fuel industry shills.

Or, as Grist noted in 2006:
The Institute for Energy Research, incidentally, "articulates free-market positions that respect private property rights and promote efficient outcomes for energy consumers and producers." Its director, Robert Bradley, wrote "Global Warming Concerns Are False Alarm" and "Renewable Energy: Not Cheap, Not 'Green'." ....

So, to recap: We have the Consumer Energy Alliance running TV ads fighting a part of the climate change bill that encourages alternative energy use. The Consumer Energy Alliance is part of the Institute for Energy Research, which is a front group for the oil and gas industry.

Can we say we are surprised? Not me.