Poor Barack – he just can’t seem to keep the American public happy these days! When he looks back on his first stormy few months in office, he may decide he should have done things differently – first climate bill, then health care.

After all, it’s hardly a surprise that Big Oil would oppose a climate change bill, dirty money-grubbing industrialists that they are. Obviously these folks have such disdain for the environment that they’ll fight “green” initiatives tooth-and-nail.

Health care, on the other hand, is something that nobody should oppose. But people do. Not that we don’t want good health care. It’s just that even Americans who are mortgaged to the hilt and barely make it paycheck to paycheck look like financial geniuses compared to the federal government.

Health care restructuring opponents have gone the tried-and-true American route of holding local town hall meetings to get their points across. Now the oil industry is following suit.

An article in the Wall Street Journal reports that the American Petroleum Industry (API) and other organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, are organizing anti-climate bill rallies around the country. At least 20 states will be home to these rallies during Congress’s August recess.

Pre-rally fliers warn the public that “Climate change legislation being considered in Washington will cause huge economic pain and produce little environmental gain.”

Shakespeare couldn’t have said it better.

It adds that the bill passed by the House of Representatives in June will result in 2 million Americans losing their jobs, jack gasoline and diesel prices to $4/gallon, and pose a threat to both US competitiveness and energy security.

“We’re not about yelling at your congressman,” Cathy Landry, API spokeswoman, is quoted as saying. “”We are about giving citizens a voice to make changes to the bill so that it doesn’t affect energy prices.”

The article goes on to state that while the Energy Information Agency expects energy bill costs to rise as much as $362 per household by 2020, the Obama administration estimates the cost at “about a postage stamp a day,” currently 42 cents in the US.

My favorite part of this article is a quote from Frank O’Donnell, head of the environmental advocacy group Clean Air Watch, who refers to the vast group of anti-climate bill organizations as “a special interest group.” Considering that the American Farm Bureau is on board, a group that has squared against oil companies in the past over ethanol issues, this hardly seems a special interest group by most estimates.

As I hear more about pending legislation in the US Congress, I’m becoming more and more curious to know the truth about the climate legislation. I think Obama’s 42-cent estimate is probably a bit conservative, and some of the fanatical pundits who predict gloom and doom are probably a bit exaggerated. If anyone has solid numbers on this, let me know.