scare tactics

Public education, brought to you by Big Oil

  • Posted on: 23 September 2010
  • By: Connor Gibson

Your Health Just Isn't Worth It...To Us

In response to the American Petroleum Institute's "Energy Tomorrow" advertisements, which push the familiar threats of lost jobs and a dead economy if the government ups accountability measures on Big Oil, NRDC has released their own advertisement in response.

"How are we supposed to pollute the air and water if we're being watched all the time?" complains one mock oil baron.

API has clearly dumped a lot of money into creating and distributing these ads--they've spent millions in the past--and Energy Tomorrow is but one of API's efforts to influence public opinion.  The Institute is also heavily invested in public education, creating energy curricula for teachers that lean heavily on the importance of their own industry, and even sponsoring the Boy Scouts Energy Merit badge

Why spend so much money on such indoctrination?  According to a leaked API memo:

"Informing teachers/students about uncertainties in climate science will begin to erect barriers against further efforts to impose Kyoto-like measures in the future."

Hey Jack Gerard: you're a lobbyist, not a teacher, and certainly not a scientist.  If you really want to be either, Halloween is next month, and you can probably afford a fancy costume.

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API threatens economic consequences if offshore drillers are held accountable

  • Posted on: 15 September 2010
  • By: Connor Gibson

Proposed Energy Legislation Could Hurt the American Economy

In typical form, Jack Gerard of the American Petroleum Institute released a video claiming that holding oil companies accountable during offshore drilling operations and after oil spills will have the usual dire economic consequences: job loss, higher taxes, and "driving small-and mid-sized firms out of business and shutting down access to domestic energy resources."

This follows common scare-talk any time an industry giant faces new regulations in the public interest--ballooning the price tag of improving worker safety conditions or environmental precautions and predicting economic apocalypse.  As if the oil industry isn't making enough money, or spending enough money, buying Congress to prevent ever-dreaded accountability legislation.

Keep in mind, Jack, that history shows how frequently cost estimates of environmental regulations are blown way out of proportion beforehand, while it is actually cleanup costs that are grossly underestimated.  Kindly send a memo to BP, Halliburton, and your other members as well on that one.

While Gerard will never admit it, an Energy [R]evolution is possible, and calling out those who value green paper over a green planet is a vital part of getting the public behind real solutions: energy conservation and efficiency, a decentralized renewable energy economy, and a phase-out of the dirty fossil fuels that have led to global warming. 

Stalling and obstructing are not coveted American values, but innovation is.  It's time to go beyond oil, where the fortune of dirty influence peddlars like Jack will just be a stain on history.

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