Thought US healthcare opposition was bad? Just wait for the climate bill

Thought the populist right wing opposition to healthcare reform was bad? Just wait til you see what’s in store on climate change…

A leaked memo sent by an oil industry group reveals a plan to create astroturf rallies at which industry employees posing as “citizens” will urge Congress to oppose climate change legislation. The memo — sent by the American Petroleum Institute and obtained by Greenpeace, which sent it to reporters — urges oil companies to recruit their employees for events that will “put a human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy,” and will urge senators to “avoid the mistakes embodied in the House climate bill.”

API [says] that the campaign is being funded by a coalition of corporate and conservative groups that includes the anti-health-care-reform group 60 Plus, FreedomWorks, and Grover Norquist’s Americans For Tax Reform.

That’s from TPM, who also have a copy of the full text of the API memo. Be in no doubt as to the potential impact of this kind of lobbying: news is just breaking in the US that the White House is “ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system”.

The “grassroots” opposition to healthcare reform in the US is a fascinating case study which climate nerds should study obsessively – noting not only that (a) battles of this kind are not won with facts, but also that (b) it’s not simply a case of corporate astroturf lobbying.