Today we continue our series of the Top Stories of 2009 here at Facing South. You can see numbers 6 to 10 here, here, here, here and here. And coming in at #5 ...

nostimulus.pngTake your mind, for a moment, back to early 2009: The economy is in shambles. Jobs are scarce. (OK, that sounds like right now, but work with me.)

Congress and Obama are talking about a big stimulus bill to jump-start recovery, including  green jobs.

And then, as if out of thin air, a storm of angry astroturf grassroots protesters descends on Congressional offices demanding that Washington ... do nothing. Where did THAT come from?

Big Oil money helped. Leading the no-stimulus charge was a secretive conservative group, Americans for Prosperity, which had mastered the art of taking money from Big Guys and funneling the cash -- and right-wing talking points -- to Little Guys on the ground.

Sue Sturgis connected the dots here at Facing South in mid-February: Americans for the Prosperous Prosperity was founded in 2003 with money from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, run by the billionaires at Koch Industries -- the nation's largest privately held oil and gas company.

So we pointed out that, aside from the whole pro-corporate, anti-progressive thing, Koch/AfP might have a specific reason to fight a "green jobs" stimulus bill:
Why would an organization funded by oil and gas interests be hostile to the economic stimulus plan? Could it be the $50 billion the bill offers for more sustainable energy alternatives? [T]he stimulus bill allocates $5 billion to weatherize more than a million modest-income homes and another $6.3 billion to install energy-saving insulation, windows and furnaces in federally funded housing projects. It also offers a tax credit of up to $7,500 for families that buy plug-in hybrid cars, and includes $500 million for green jobs training.
In other words, a group running off oil profits might not think going green is such a hot idea.

AfP has never met an environmental cause they didn't hate. As we reported in 2008, the group sponsored a "Hot Air Tour" fighting what they call "global warming alarmism."

Which is exactly what Big Oil executives from Kansas would like you to think.