Wetlands Front Group Funded by Big Oil Wants Taxpayers to Foot the Bill for BP's Gulf Destruction

Brendan DeMelle
Huffington Post
Aug. 02, 2010

A group of oil companies including BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citgo, Chevron and other polluters are using a front group called "America's WETLAND Foundation" and a Louisiana women's group called Women of the Storm to spread the message that U.S. taxpayers should pay for the damage caused by BP to Gulf Coast wetlands, and that the reckless offshore oil industry should continue drilling for the "wholesale sustainability" of the region.

Using the age-old PR trick of featuring celebrity messengers to attract public attention, America's Wetland Foundation is spreading a petition accompanied by a video starring Sandra Bullock, Dave Matthews, Lenny Kravitz, Emeril Lagassi, John Goodman, Harry Shearer, Peyton and Eli Manning, Drew Brees and others.

The video urges petition signers to "Be The One" to demand the government devise and fully fund a plan to restore the Gulf. There is no mention that BP, Halliburton, Transocean, Cameron, or any other oil industry player "be the one" to pay for the damage done to the Gulf. Why call on the government to once again foot the bill for this dirty industry's reckless behavior?

Perhaps the celebrities featured in the group's videos are unaware of AWF's true intent, and signed up thinking that they were helping the Gulf Coast cause in the wake of the BP gusher. But under the surface it sure looks like they are being used as pawns to lure the public into the oil industry's corner, ensuring that taxpayers pick up the tab for much of the damage caused by BP et al to the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Coast communities, economies, and the environment.

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