Big Oil Has Big Bucks for Image War

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The PR blog Potomac Flacks reports that the American Petroleum Institute (API) is planning a $100-million “image and education effort” to counteract the change in policy direction that the fossil industry (sorry, fossil fuel industry) acticipates from the new Democratically dominated Congress.

Quoting a very short piece in the National Journal, PFlacks reports that the campaign “much of which will be coordinated by the PR firm Edelman, will include expensive television, radio, and print ads, tours of oil patch facilities for lawmakers and opinion elites, and financial contributions to sympathetic think tanks and industry-friendly organizations.

The National Journal brief (which requires a subscription for access), notes that the Democrats are preparing probes into oil company profits and are contemplating legislation to curb climate change. It appears that, rather than account for those profits or, say, address climate change themselves, the API honchos have decided to put their profit into PR and lobbying.

The API is asking the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, and other oil and gas trade groups to help pay the bill. One lobbyist told the National Journal that “Field trips to educate members [of Congress] may be the single most important thing to do.”

It’s frightening to imagine what kind of “education” API might have in mind.

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