Tea Party targets energy plans

Tea party activists plan to hound lawmakers as they return home for a weeklong recess.

Conservatives discussed their plans on a phone call Wednesday that aimed to refocus the grassroots movement on policy issues. After losing the health care fight, many tea partyers shifted their focus to getting the lawmakers who passed that bill out of office in November.

But with Democrats considering an energy bill, they are turning again to fighting legislation.

So many people called in that FreedomWorks, which led the discussion, had to create a second conference line to accommodate them.

“Democrats are nothing if not relentless in their pursuit of big government policies,” Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks’ president, said at the start of the call.

He told activists that President Obama is determined to use the Gulf Coast oil spill to pass cap and trade, a plan to charge to companies that pollute. Kibbe alleged that BP helped write the plan and would benefit from it.

“There’s a mythology that cap and trade would be tough on polluters,” he said. “We would pay the cost. Other corporations would suffer by not being able to be at the table to receive those handouts. This is not how the free markets work.”

Democrats contend that taxpayers would benefit from cap and trade by taking money from polluters and giving it to individuals through tax rebates.
But it’s not clear that the majority party is even considering cap and trade at this point.

Lawmakers who attended Tuesday’s bipartisan energy meeting at the White House said they didn’t reach consensus on how to move forward on energy and environmental issues.

FreedomWorks called on tea party activists to set up meetings with lawmakers when they return home from D.C. next week. The group also unveiled a new campaign to stop Democrats from passing legislation after elections.

The American Family Business Institute, which helped organize the call, told activists to use grassroots tactics against the estate tax as well.