Oil industry employees continued their ‘Energy Citizens’ tour today in conservative towns in New Mexico, after holding a “glorified company picnic”  in Houston on Tuesday. Local New Mexico blog FBIHOP reports  that the API/NAM/Chamber of Commerce/FreedomWorks/Big Oil astroturf rallies will take place today in Roswell and tomorrow in Farmington - “they will hold their meetings before going out and claiming these were grassroots efforts.”
NMFBIHOP aptly called the Houston Astroturf event an “energy employees rally,”  a more fitting description of the closed door event that drew somewhere between 2,500-3,500 oil industry employees who were bussed in and given yellow ‘Energy Citizen’ t-shirts in “another high-priced photo op for the oil and gas industry.”
Today’s event in Roswell was reportedly organized by the DW Turner PR firm , which represents BP and Chevron. Chevron played a central role in the Houston rally as well, bussing in hundreds of employees to take part in the “company picnic.”  Spokesman Morgan Crinklaw told the San Francisco Chronicle that Chevron  “plans to offer the same opportunity to employees to participate in events taking place near our Farmington, N.M., and Anchorage, Alaska, offices.”
The oil industry is paying its employees to go to these events, claiming that they are “grassroots,” when nothing could be further from the truth. If you live in one of the cities below where these ‘Energy Citizen’ rallies are taking place in the next few weeks, show up with your video cameras and ask questions, like: “Do you know why you’re here today?” Or “Are you here because your boss made you come?” If media are at the event, be sure to urge them to report these events as fake astroturf events organized by oil companies.
Here are the upcoming company picnics:
8/21 (11:30 AM). Lima, OH Veterans’ Memorial and Civic Center.
8/21 (11:30 AM) Farmington, NM. Convention Center at McGee Park
8/22 (11:30 AM). Atlanta, GA. Marriott Century Center.
8/25 (11.30 AM) Nashville, TN. Wild Horse Saloon.
8/25 (11:00 AM). Elkhart, IN. RV Hall of Fame.
8/25 (TBD) Greeley, CO. Island Grove Regional Park, Exhibit Hall
8/27 (11:30 AM). St. Louis, MO Hilton at the Ballpark.
8/27 (5.:00 PM) Tampa FL, Tampa Convention Center
8/27 (TBD). Bismarck, ND National Center of Energy Excellence at Bismarck State College, 4th Floor
8/31 (TBD). Anchorage, AK Anchorage Convention Center
8/31 (5:00 PM). Greenville, SC. Carolina First Center.
9/1 Springfield IL Time TBD Venue TBD
9/3 (Time TBD) Detroit MI Burton Manor Banquet and Conference Center.
9/3 (4:30 PM). Philadelphia, PA. Venue TBD.
9/3 Richmond, VA. TBD.
9/5 (2:30 PM). Lincoln, NE. Embassy Suites Lincoln.
9/7 (1:15 3 2:15 PM). Huron, SD. Freedom Stage, South Dakota State Fair