Did you think it was just an accident that conservatives seem so good at singing from the same hymnal on the issue du jour, whether it’s privatizing social security, blaming the Dodd-Frank bill for Bank of America’s (now cancelled) $5 debit card fee or defending Hermann Cain from sexual harassment charges?
Well, it’s not an accident. Whether it’s El Rushbo, John Boehner or Michele Bachmann, they all actually did get the memo.
And that memo is given out at the conservative strategy meeting that Grover Norquist holds every Wednesday for GOP congressmen, staffers, lobbyists and industry leaders at the Americans for Tax Reform headquarters in Washington, DC. “The invitation-only meetings Norquist hosts have become a hot ticket for Washington’s conservative in crowd, the place for GOP players to brainstorm, swap intelligence, and see and be seen,” writes Mother Jones.
Well, it appears that one of Norquist’s meetings in the last few months must’ve been about starting a coordinated offensive to push “North American energy independence.” Or else the oil industry must have its own version of Norquist’s meeting, either in DC or maybe in Houston.
A cottage industry of disinformation
A “cottage industry” seems to be developing, according to Steve LeVine in Foreign Policy, “around the notion that the U.S. not only isn’t facing an impending oil shortage — it is on the cusp of being nearly energy independent, short of a margin of barrels that will be imported from friendly Canada and Mexico.”
Is this a new consensus, or is it group-think, asks Levine? I think it’s neither. I used to work in PR and to me, this smells of a coordinated PR campaign. It can’t be a coincidence that, just months after the International Energy Agency announced that world oil production had peaked in 2006, now so many voices are now coming out to claim that America has nothing to worry about as long as we drill-baby-drill.
Indeed, Lorne Stockman over at Oil Change International tells me that the American Petroleum Institute has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill with a presentation claiming that unconventional oil resources will deliver for decades.
So, it can’t be a coincidence that eternal oil cornucopian Daniel Yergin came out with his new book The Quest, claiming that new technology gives a new lease on life to dead and dying oil fields. Or that, in October, the New York Times came out with a dreadful special section on energy and quoted one consultant claiming that “Unconventional oil and gas are at the beginning of a technological cycle that can last 60 years. They are really in their infancy.” Or that conservative talk radio and Fox News have been all aflutter with “drill, baby drill” talk again.
Expect to see more of this campaign, because the guys at the API have deep pockets and they clearly see that now is the time to strike.
– Erik Curren, Transition Voice