API

Rarely do we meet those who have made careers selling us lies. Consider the oddball doctors who took tobacco money to deny a link between cigarette smoking and cancer, or the handful of scientists who take oil and coal money to discredit global warming science, or the people who have done both.

Last week, students in Wisconsin and Michigan stepped up to such an opportunity when CFACT Campus, the student arm of a well-known cabal of fossil fuel apologists, hosted climate change denier Willie Soon at several campus events around the country.

Dr. Willie Soon is a Smithsonian Institution astrophysicist paid by Charles Koch, ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute and coal utility Southern Company to write papers dismissing climate change, publish op-eds saying coal pollution won't affect our health, refute the seriousness of ocean acidification, and apparently anything else he can be paid to deny. Dr. Soon has misrepresented himself by repeatedly claiming affiliation with Harvard University and using his credentials as an astrophysicist to make people believe he's a climate expert, and he shows no sign of stopping. Indeed, he told students in Madison, "I am as as qualified as anyone on the planet on this topic."

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Yesterday I sat next to $6 million dollars. I was so close to the money I could smell it.

Yup, that's right. I sat next to nearly $6 million worth of Big Oil and Baron Von Gas bribes and could smell the stink of its corruption. I was at the US House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, whose members collectively have taken $5,972,328.38* from oil and gas companies. Myself and 10 other citizens sat in on a hearing about Keystone XL (again), and when we called foul on their dirty plays, we made them sweat. Let me tell you, Big Oil B.O. is pretty offensive.

Last week when KXL was rejected, Big Oil panicked, and being frightened, it launched an all out offensive to grapple at straws. The American Petroleum Institute's new nauseating "Vote 4 Energy" ad campaign is being pushed in key election states, and API president Jack Gerard has started to use more threatening language against the president. Big Oil's friends in Congress introduced a series of heinous new bills in an effort to keep KXL alive.

One such bill is H.R. 3548 sponsored by Lee Terry of Nebraska. It would direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a permit for the pipeline within 30 days after receiving an application. Yesterday it was its hearing.

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Yesterday, Big Oil was hurtin’, and boy does that feel good! Not only was the Keystone XL pipeline rejected by the Obama Administration, but citizen activists used the Mic Check to "Fact Check" Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, at one of API’s most important social gatherings, embarrassing Gerard and throwing a wrench in the forum.

Jack Gerard (the man who personally threatened Obama over a Keystone XL rejection) addressed the State of the Energy Industry forum. But we already know what state it’s in – a state of corruption, lies, bullying, and playing dirty. API has spewed disinformation about Keystone XL and the fossil fuel industry that has bought off elected officials, brainwashed the public, and catapulted an onslaught of falsified statistics and corrupt back-room deals.

This legacy of lies must stop. One of the best ways we are doing this is by outing the liars themselves. We knew we had to disrupt this sickening display of corporate greed and self-congratulation, but instead of mic checking Gerard, we thought we would dish out a hearty serving of truth.

So, we Fact Checked him.

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