Oil Interests Fund 'Astroturf' Groups In Washington, Oregon

Nov 18, 2014

Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that’s designed to look like it’s grassroots in nature.

This PowerPoint slide shows the campaigns and coalitions that the Western States Petroleum Association has 'activated' to combat what it calls 'aggressive anti-oil initiatives in the West.'

A document obtained by public radio shows the oil industry is at the center of more than a dozen Astroturf groups in Washington, Oregon and California.

At the center of the effort is the Western States Petroleum Association in Sacramento. An internal PowerPoint slide shows WSPA has “activated” -- its word -- several “campaigns and coalitions” to respond to “aggressive anti-oil initiatives in the west.”

“That was just an attempt to sort of put on as single slide a graphical depiction for folks as to how many issues we’re involved in and the various coalitions that we’re working with to represent the industry’s point of view,” said Petroleum Association spokesman Tupper Hull.

The groups have names like Oregonians for Sound Fuel Policy and Washington Consumers for Sound Fuel Policy. Environmentalists have their own groups. Clean Fuels Jobs in Washington and Clean Fuels Now in Oregon.