A multitude of legislative decisions are made every day and their broader impacts are often unclear.
Friday, February 26, The oil industry's biggest trade group has nabbed one of the environmental community's top grass-roots organizers as it ramps up efforts to build a network of citizen lobbyists. Deryck Spooner, The nature of lobbying ran Nature Conservancy's push to spur legislative action on climate change, will now head American Petroleum Institute's grass-roots activism arm.
The hiring move sends a nervous flutter through environmental groups. By recruiting Spooner, green groups said, API adds someone with both credibility and deep knowledge of grass-roots strategy. This indicates that API is taking their grass-roots strategy in a very serious direction.
You will see us evolve into a more nimble, more aggressive" organization. Hiring Spooner is part of Gerard's strategy to expand grass-roots activism, API spokeswoman Cathy Landry said, adding, "Jack's vision is to mobilize the 9.
We do plan to step that up. API said the rallies allowed both employees and other citizens to voice concerns that climate legislation would raise energy prices and affect jobs. Mobilizing and organizing people to influence the public process and public policy is what I truly love to do.
API members use technology "to ensure that the places that they drill are not impacted," Spooner said, while the Nature Conservancy uses a scientific approach in deciding where to protect land and water. API members, he said, "don't just want to drill anywhere for drilling's sake.
There's a lot of science going into where they drill. Nature Conservancy, which in terms of assets is the biggest environmental group in the United States, is considered one of the more politically conservative green groups. It allows corporate sponsorships and has permitted oil and gas drilling on some of the land it holds in trust.
Other environmental activists, however, characterized the missions of API and most green groups as far apart. And having Spooner at API gives the oil trade group new advantages, he said, including information about environmental group strategies.
Because Nature Conservancy is a nonprofit organization, Spooner said, he was limited in how much he could engage political activism. He worked mostly with local chapters and guided trustees to seek legislative action.
At API, he said, he can create a grass-roots network of employees, contractors and the public. With his campaign experience, Slocum said, Spooner is likely to help API prioritize members of Congress the group wants to influence, and then mobilize activism in those lawmakers' districts and states.
Spooner went out to oil rigs with his father. He moved to Nature Conservancy in and focused on global warming, which Spooner described as "one of the most important issues of our time. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition pushing for congressional action on climate change, as an example of a group that united environmental groups and oil companies including BP and ConocoPhillips.
BP and ConocoPhillips left U. CAP last week, however, saying that climate legislation has failed to recognize the importance of natural gas and disadvantaged oil and gas companies compared with coal interests. But I think again once you bring as many voices into the solution and everyone has opportunity to be equal in the discussion CAP came up with [were] the principles that were adopted by Congress at some level.
When asked about API's opposition to major elements of climate legislation, Spooner said that "what you have is a very diverse organization here with multiple different issues. API is an association that What API wants is a really good climate bill at the end of the day," Spooner added.
While Spooner is still evaluating the best ways to motivate grass-roots action on API's goals, he said that his central principle is education. It followed passage of the House climate bill and featured those rallies where oil company workers and other people came to talk about their concerns.
API has said that the rallies represented the views of much of the public regardless of who served as organizers.
The mission of Energy Citizens last summer was to stop momentum on the climate bill that passed the House in June, Greenpeace's Davies said.
Spooner sees the goal of such rallies differently. We have real voices that really care about the energy issue," Spooner said.
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