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Tag Archive: Friends of the Earth

Environmental Activists Using the Web

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The Politico reports on a campaign by Friends of the Earth (FOE) in opposition to the America's Climate Security Act S.2191, commonly referred to on the Hill as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. (There's a split within the environmental movement whether this bill is the best way to address climate change legislatively but FOE thinks it does not go far enough and would be a windfall to the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.)

Politico says that FOE adopted the by-the-book strategy of taking out ads in Capitol Hill newspapers to try to influence the public. But then they also bought ads on liberal blogs and environmental Web sites hoping that they would generate buzz for their side on this divisive issue. FOE made a two-week buy on Daily Kos, MyDD.com, openleft.com and Tapped, among others. The hope was that the campaign would get the issue to bubble up in the debates on the blogs, knowing that these blog sites' readers include many engaged political activists. It worked...At least at generating buzz. The issue's prominence rose on Daily Kos after the ads went up, and the issue became a front page item there. No doubt they recruited hundreds, if not thousands to their cause.

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A Little More Accountability, Please

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Three watchdog groups have sent a letter to House appropriators urging more oversight of the oil and gas royalties owed to the federal government.  Friends of the Earth (FOE), Project on Government Oversight (POGO), and Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) sent the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations a letter calling on the appropriators to set aside additional funding to hire auditors to oversee what they called the Department of the Interior's (DOI) troubled oil and gas royalty programs.

DOI made two increases to the offshore royalty rates over the past year.  Those rate increases are ridiculous the groups say if effective auditing and enforcement functions are not in place to keep the oil companies honest, who over the past decade have been forced to pay almost $600 million in settlements for shortchanging the government in royalty payments.  Since 2000, DOI has cut the number of auditors by 45 or 15.7 percent (from 287 to 242). As the groups say in their letter, "With fewer watchdogs minding the store, oil and gas companies have fewer incentives to pay up."

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