Jane Van Ryan
Posted August 14, 2009
A lot of reporters and bloggers have been jumping to conclusions about the rallies being organized in the next couple of weeks. Some have written that we're "taking a cue" from the health care opponents who've been attending town hall meetings across the country. Others are accusing us of Astroturfing. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Here are facts. API and other groups have come together in a loose alliance called Energy Citizens to give Americans the opportunity to remind Congress that energy is the backbone of the nation's economy and way of life. As part of the effort, local individuals and organizations will be participating in "Rallies for Jobs and Affordable Energy" in 19 states during the congressional recess.
These rallies will provide a forum for people from all walks of life to voice their opposition to the House-passed climate bill and to urge the Senate to support climate policies that protect jobs and affordable energy. Multiple studies have shown that the House bill will cost in the range of 2 million American jobs and raise gasoline and diesel prices up to $4 a gallon.
These rallies are not going to be shouting matches between members of Congress and their constituents. Rather they are an opportunity for Americans--truckers, farmers, small business owners, energy workers, homemakers and seniors--to voice their dissatisfaction over the House climate bill, urge the Senate to get it right, and to stand up for the American Dream.
Those of us who live in America are among the luckiest people on Earth. And Energy Citizens are people whose daily lives and ability to carry on business depend on affordable energy and an economy that provides employment opportunities. Some of the groups that are participating in the rallies the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Association of Manufacturers, and American Trucking Associations, among many others.
There are those who would like to suggest that any views contrary to their own should be discounted or viewed as contrived. In our view, a broad-based, robust discussion of the issues--including American jobs and affordable energy--is the best way to develop sound policy. So, tell us what you think openly and transparently, but be sure to follow the comment guidelines.
I'm going to attend some of the rallies starting next week, and I will share my observations with you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.