By Ben Geman - 08/05/11 09:32 PM EDT
Take, for example, droidude7816, just a regular old Star Wars fan from Chicago who's "in a intimate relationship" with his girlfriend Sarah (um, ew). His short self-description also notes, "I own pretty much every starwar movie, action figure etc.," and "I'm also one who cares about the environment." It even has a little photo of some doughy white guy having a light-saber fight with Darth Vader! But then all of his 27 tweets are about the Keystone XL.
According to RAN and the Mother Jones story, the Twitter handles sent out links to an American Petroleum Institute page about oil sands and to the Nebraska Energy Forum, a pro-oil sands group affiliated with API.
Brant Olson, a campaign director with RAN, traces the origins of the Twitter handles to a man named Keith Bockmann (whose own Twitter handle has also been removed). Olson suggests the effort is tied to a former Nebraska state senator, now a lobbyist, who is working with the state energy group.
Olson’s account is here.
An API spokesman said he was not familiar with the Twitter accounts but is looking into the matter.