Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Joni and the Coalition of Energy Users
The Forces of Darkness came to Marysville yesterday under the guise of a citizen's organization. The Coalition of Energy Users (CEU), an oil and gas industry front group that probably has ties to the ever politically ambitious courtesan for big oil, Dan Logue--staged a teach in designed to assuage any fears north state residents might have about the safety of Fracking. Organizers went to great lengths to ensure a well attended meeting; they filled two busses of supporters from the Sacramento area and brought them to the event making sure they had a friendly audience with the proper loyalties.
Of course, the CEU knew how many people they needed to bus in ahead of time because prospective participants had to fill out a written application to attend the seminar. Joni Stellar, my spouse, applied to attend the conference six weeks ago. She was rejected by the Industry Front group. "No space", they replied. Joni shared that distinction with the local expert on Fracking, and also president of the local Sierra Club, Dave Garcia.
The CEU didn't want to have any shenanigans at the conference so they hired a Bouncer to watch for any subversives who might want to listen (and maybe challenge?) the CEU's arguments. They had a "Do Not Admit" list, and somehow they were able to scope out the likely granola-heads that might be attending the meeting. Joni, my wife, was pulled aside and refused entry. She was reduced to standing on the sidewalk, holding a sign and wearing a badge that informed others that they could talk about Fracking with her. The same thing happened to two other Activists. They were stopped at the door and told to leave by the Bouncer.
The Chico Citizen's Action Network did manage to have one member slither into the meeting in order to gather information. There also were members of the press there: the Chico Sol sent a reporter as did Sacramento News10 television news. A mole stated there were more than enough empty seats to accommodate the environmentalists outside who were barred from peacefully attending the presentation.
Carefully staged and choreographed propaganda seminars are nothing new to industrial and political campaigns. I have a sneaky suspicion that this one serves both the oil industry and the forthcoming U.S. House of Representatives campaign of Dan Logue. Why? Well, first off Dan Logue is the oil industry's stooge in California. Dan Logue supposedly wrote Prop. 23 that was to do away with California's first in the nation global warming initiatives. I say supposedly wrote it because more than a few people have implied that it was Koch Brothers' lawyers (and ALEC) that actually wrote the thing. CEU, of course, is a tax deductible organization disallowed from helping individual candidates, but if you look carefully at the supporting organizations of CEU, you will find at least one of them has close ties to Dan Logue. Dan Logue plans on challenging John Garamendi, and whereas there is a slight voter registration advantage to Garamendi, Logue is hoping that issues like fracking, and the fact it is an off year election, will drive voters into the oil drenched arms of Dan Logue.
This seminar is just the start of a fracking PR campaign that will have lots and lots of cash behind it. Dan Logue also will have lots and lots of campaign cash. The Oil and Gas Industry state that there are 25 billion dollars worth of oil and gas to be mined underneath this part of California. They also claim millions of jobs will be created. They will argue that the environmentalists, and any Democrats who oppose fracking, are standing in the way of high paying jobs, prosperity and a financial bonanza for all.
The television station found it curious that a select group of people were banned from attending the event. They interviewed Joni. And they interviewed Dave Garcia. Two patriotic Environmentalists standing in the way of the richest industry in the history of the world.
You can watch the Sacramento News10 story here.