I don’t consider oil industry funded online petition drives run by lobbyists living in million-dollar Washington, DC homes to be grassroots organizing.

Yesterday, I stumbled across a fake grassroots organization called Consumer Energy Alliance. I believe I accidentally found this through a pop-up off the Minneapolis StarTribune.com.

Consumer Energy Alliance

The fake grassroots organization is asking people to sign a petition to open up America’s soil to corporate strip mining for oil. And to lower the 5% royalty tax the government charges for oil extracted from public lands because paying 5% for oil extracted from public land is a burden for oil corporations.

“Community Strategies”

It turns out the organization behind the Consumer Energy Alliance (the supposedly grassroots organization) is a lobbying firm called Community Strategies, run by Washington, DC lobbyist, Michael C Gibson out of this $1 million home:

2519 KING ST, ALEXANDRIA, VA - $999,999

That’s a nice pad for a grassroots organization.

Mr. Gibson has worked for or on behalf of the RNC, the NRA, and San Diego Gas & Electric.

The advocacy site is run by a Washington, DC based company called Advocacy Interactive who explain what they do on their site:

Whether you are looking to lobby Congress, influence Legislators, or introduce new products or services into the market reaching out to Opinion Leaders is the ideal way to start.

This, to me, is a great example of why we need more transparency in government. Let’s start having some honest arguments about America’s energy policies rather than hiding behind fake grassroots organizations.

Dear Michael C Gibson, stop manipulating the public on behalf of your clients. While it certainly brings home the bacon, I think you’d find that it’s easier to sleep at night if you were more honest about who’s behind the fake grassroots organizations you create.

Cross-posted from Daily Kos.