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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Oil Industry Organizes "Astroturf" Rallies to Fight Stronger Regulation
25 Sep 2010
Modified: 05:53:30 PM
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Oil Industry Organizes "Astroturf" Rallies to Fight Stronger Regulation

Interview with Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy Program, conducted by Scott Harris

British Petroleum's blown-out Deepwater Horizon oil well that killed 11 workers and leaked over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is close to being pronounced dead, according to the government's incident commander, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen. While the oil well may soon be permanently plugged with cement through a long awaited relief well, the effects of the worst oil spill in U.S. history won't soon disappear. Hundreds of thousands of people who live along the Gulf coastline have seen their jobs and businesses destroyed by the spill, which damaged the seafood industry and drove away tourists. The full extent of damage to the environment may not be known for years.

In contrast to the many years of lax government enforcement of safety standards on offshore oil drilling, widely seen as one of the causes of the Gulf spill disaster, Congress has recently attempted to strengthen regulations on the oil and gas industry. But now the American Petroleum Institute is organizing rallies nationwide opposing federal legislation that would increase safety standards on oil rigs, remove the monetary cap on liability for future spills, increase royalties paid to taxpayers and protect oil industry whistleblowers.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy Program who comments on the imminent death of BP's disastrous Gulf oil well, and explains how API is employing what he calls "astroturf" protests in hopes of turning around public opinion, which widely supports stricter regulation of the oil and gas industry.

Contact Public Citizen at (202) 588-1000 or visit their website at

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
Between the Lines
c/o Squeaky Wheel Productions
P.O. Box 110176
Trumbull, CT 06611
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