Jack N. Gerard

Jack N. Gerard



Jack N. Gerard is former President, CEO, and a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute (API), a national trade association that “represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry.” Prior to working with API, Gerard was President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), where he also served as a lobbyist for the chemical industry. Before that, he served in the same position at the National Mining Association (NMA). Gerard announced on January 24, 2018 that he would step down as API’s president. He would find a successor by Sept 1, Axios reported.2Steven Mufson. “Jack Gerard to step down as head of powerful American Petroleum Institute,” The Washington Post, January 17, 2018. Archived January 25, 2018. URL: 3“Jack N. Gerard” (PDF), Utah State University, March 17, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 4Search for Lobbyist Name “Gerard, Jack.” Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Search performed January 18, 2017. Archived .xlsx on file at DeSmog. 5CEO of major U.S. oil trade group to step down,” Axios, January 17, 2018.

According to data from, the American Petroleum Institute (API) spent over $94 million on lobbying for the oil and gas industry between 1998 and 2016. Since Gerard started working at API in 2008, they spent over $66 million on lobbying, or 70% of that total. Gerard has often advocated for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel and solution to reduce CO2 emissions, while opposing renewable energy. He suggests a “market-based” approach to emissions reductions, rather than industry regulation.6American Petroleum Institute,” Archived .xlsx on file at DeSmog. Accessed January 17, 2017. 7JACK GERARD OUTLINES MARKET-BASED EMISSIONS REDUCTION MODEL IN PRESS CALL,” American Petroleum Institute, November 16, 2015. Archived January 19, 2017. URL:

While at API, Gerard has overseen campaigns under names like “Energy Nation,” “Energy Citizens,” “EnergyTomorrow,” or “the People of America’s Oil and Natural Gas Industry.” API’s “Energy Citizens” portrayed itself as a “grass roots” initiative to combat climate change legislation.The Washington Post notes that in 2010, Gerard directed $63 million, one-third of API’s budget, to an outside public relations firm for ad campaigns.8Steven Mufson. “Jack Gerard, the force majeure behind Big Oil,The Washington Post, April 7, 2012. Archived January 18, 2017. URL: 9Kevin Grandia. “Leaked Memo: Oil Lobby Launches Fake ‘Grassroots’ Campaign,” DeSmog, August 13, 2009.

According to a search of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Lobbying Disclosure database, Gerard served as a lobbyist for the American Chemistry Council starting as early as 2006, and has been a lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute (API) since 2008. Gerard has appeared numerous times before the White House to argue against greenhouse gas regulations that would impact the oil industry.10Search for Lobbyist Name “Gerard, Jack.” Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Search performed January 18, 2017. Archived .xlsx on file at DeSmog.

In 2012, The Huffington Post described Jack Gerard as a long-time backer and a close friend of Mitt Romney, while Roll Call described him as one of Romney’s “most trusted advisers.”11Peter H. Stone. “Jack Gerard, Top Oil Lobbyist, Positioned To Be Key Player In A Romney Administration,” The Huffington Post, October 29, 2012. Archived January 19, 2017. URL: 12Paul Blumenthal. “Mitt Romney’s Lobbyist Donations Boom In First Half Of 2012,The Huffington Post, August 2, 2012. Archived January 19, 2017. URL: 13Eliza Newline Carney. “Beltway Bundlers Have Mitt Romney Sitting Pretty,” Roll Call, June 13, 2012. Archived January 17, 2017. URL:

Stance on Climate Change


While Jack Gerard does not appear to have an official statement on his views on climate change, the American Petroleum Institute offered the following statement in March of 2016, acknowledging that climate change is a legitimate problem:14Climate Change,” American Petroleum Institute. Archived March 9, 2016. UR:

“It is clear that climate change is a serious problem that requires research for solutions and effective policies that allow us to meet our energy needs while protecting the environment: that’s why oil and gas companies are working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.“

Key Quotes

January 9, 2018

“I think we’re at the point where we need to get over the conversation of who believes and who doesn’t, and move to a conversation about solutions,” Gerard said about climate change, reported the Washington Examiner.15Josh Siegel. “Oil group chief boasts of America’s ‘energy abundance’ while promoting climate change ‘solutions‘,” Washington Examiner, January 9, 2018. Archived January 11, 2018. URL:

September 22, 2016

In a API leadership briefing, Gerard criticized divestment campaigns as unrealistic, reports The New York Times:16Justin Gillis and Nicholas St. Fleur. “Global Companies Joining Climate Change Efforts,” The New York Times, September 23, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. URL:

“There are those who would advocate for no fossil fuels at all, which is frankly irresponsible, since the United States depends on fossil fuels to meet 80 percent of its energy needs.”

January 7, 2014

As reported at Huffington Post, Jack Gerard laid out API’s agenda at a speech at Newseum, also calling on Obama to quickly approve the Keystone XL pipeline:17Kate Sheppard. “Oil And Gas Lobby Lays Out 2014 Agenda,” The Huffington Post, January 25, 2014. Archived January 19, 2017. URL:

“This has gone on far too long,” Gerard said. “I’d like to point out that the now five-plus year evaluation process of the Keystone XL pipeline has lasted longer than America’s involvement in the second World War, longer than it took our nation to put a man in space, and almost as long as it took to build the Transcontinental Railroad 155 years ago.”

May 11, 2012

The following is from Jack N. Gerard’s speech at the City Club of Cleveland where he emphasized API’s opinion on the importance of oil and natural gas (view video below):18“Jack N. Gerard (5-11-12),” YouTube video uploaded by user The City Club of Cleveland, May 16, 2012. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“Many people don’t realize that sixty-two percent of all the energy we consume in the United States today is oil and natural gas. The experts, even in the Obama administration, will tell you that 30 years from now, even with the most optimistic projections surrounding alternative and renewable forms of energy, 30 years from now we will still rely on oil and natural gas for 55% of all the energy consumed in the United States.”

April 2012

Gerard is quoted in a April, 2012 article in The Washington Post:

“If we’re concerned about a particular member [of Congress], we will educate that constituency and encourage people to weigh in with their elected official,” he says in a conference room at API’s L Street office. “Congress is a lagging indicator. Congress is responsive to the American people. That’s why a well-educated electorate is a key to sound policy.”19Steven Mufson. “Jack Gerard, the force majeure behind Big Oil,The Washington Post, April 7, 2012. Archived January 18, 2017. URL:

“[E]nergy is not about Republicans, not about Democrats. It is not a partisan issue. It’s an issue that affects Americans at large.”20Steven Mufson. “Jack Gerard, the force majeure behind Big Oil,The Washington Post, April 7, 2012. Archived January 18, 2017. URL:

August 2010

Discussing a controversial “grass roots” advocacy program where API had worked in coordination with FreedomWorks, the American Conservative Union and Americans for Tax Reform to fight against House climate bill (H.R. 2454), Gerard told Greenwire:21Anne C. Mulkern. “Oil group, climate bill supporters clash in summer campaigns,” Greenwire, August 17, 2010. Archived January 16, 2017. URL:

“We have always encouraged our employees to engage in political activities.”

While critics had claimed most of those who attended were representatives of the energy industry, Gerard claimed this was false:

“in most forums very few oil and gas people attended,” he said.

July 21, 2009

In a July, 2009 interview with Politico, Gerard declared:22Jeanne Cummings. “Oil, gas industries ripe for makeover,” Politico, July 21, 2009. Archived January 18, 2017. URL:

“What we’ve learned is that the public probably doesn’t understand or appreciate us as much as we’d like them to.”

December 7, 2009

Reacting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s formal declaration that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health, Gerard said:23FACTBOX: Reaction to EPA’s climate change declaration,” Reuters, December 7, 2009. Archived January 18, 2017. URL:

“[The EPA Endangerment Finding] action poses a threat to every American family and business if it leads to regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Such regulation would be intrusive, inefficient, and excessively costly.”

August 12, 2009

In a leaked memo to API affiliates (PDF), Gerard wrote:24Phil Radford. “Dear Mr. Gerard” (PDF), Greenpeace, August 12, 2009. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“To be clear, API will provide the up-front resources [for its Energy Citizens rallies] to ensure logistical issues do not become a problem.”

“[W]e don’t want critics to know our game plan.”

November 2008

In response to the November 2008 election of Barack Obama as President and Joe Biden as Vice-president, API released a statement in the name of their CEO, Jack Gerard, saying:

“The American people have spoken loud and clear that they want politicians to put aside partisan bickering… . The oil and natural gas industry stands ready to help put America’s vast energy resources to good use, strengthening our nation’s economy and energy security, and providing good jobs for Americans across the country.”25API: Oil, gas industry will work with new administration,Oil & Gas Journal, November 5, 2008. Archived August 11, 2015.

Gerard earlier criticized Obama’s platform, saying “Obama’s plan to impose a windfall-profits tax on oil companies would harm one of the few industries that are thriving” in the economic crisis.26Daniel Whitten. “Obama May Put Renewable-Energy Plan Ahead of Climate Package,” Bloomberg, November 5, 2008. Archived September 11, 2014. URL: 27Edward John Craig. “A New Day for Planet Gore,” National Review, November 5, 2008. Archived March 9, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

June 17, 2008

“When industries are confronted by challenges, they tend to get shellshocked and step back into the foxhole. […] My philosophy is the opposite. Industries need someone to step forward and make the case when people don’t understand them. […] Because there’s a lot of anxiety in the Congress about the industry, we have to step forward and be compelling in our advocacy. It’s not a time to be bashful. The more transparent the discussion, the better off we’ll be.”28Jeffrey H. Birnbaum. “A Rising Star in the Hold-Your-Nose Industries,” The Washington Post, June 17, 2008. Archived January 17, 2017. URL:

Key Deeds

March 31, 2018

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Gerard was appointed as a full-time leader of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The Tribune noted that it is unclear of Gerard’s appointment to the LDS Church as the reason for his departure from API.29A new general authority for the LDS Church is also a longtime lobbyist for oil, mining companies,” The Salt Lake Tribune, April 5, 2018. Archived April 20, 2018. URL:

January 24, 2018

Gerard announced that he would step down as API’s president. According to Axios, Gerard said he would step down in August and work to find a replacement by September 1.30Steven Mufson. “Jack Gerard to step down as head of powerful American Petroleum Institute,” The Washington Post, January 17, 2018. Archived January 25, 2018. URL: 31CEO of major U.S. oil trade group to step down,” Axios, January 17, 2018.

January 4, 2017

Jack N. Gerard delivered the American Petroleum Institute’s “2017 State of American Energy” keynote, followed by a Q&A Session. View Jack Gerard’s prepared speech here, or watch the video below:322017 State of American Energy keynote plus Q&A,” YouTube video uploaded by user Energy Tomorrow, January 6, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. 33JACK GERARD DELIVERS 2017 STATE OF AMERICAN ENERGY ADDRESS,” American Petroleum Institute, January 4, 2017. Archived January 17, 2017. URL:

Gerard reiterates the common argument by the energy industry that fossil fuels will provide cheap fuel to help those in poverty:

“And as the planet’s population continues to grow, demand for affordable and abundant energy will also grow, which will not only improve the standard of living for millions but will also lift many more out of poverty.”

Responding to a question on what API would do on climate change under the Trump administration, Gerard said:

“API and the industry generally will probably continue doing what it has been doing. And that is reaching out and demonstrating solutions to the challenge.”

According to Gerard claims that the energy industry is quite capable of managing itself despite “constraints imposed on the industry by regulations designed more to stifle domestic fossil fuel development than to benefit the American consumer.”

He concludes that we must “break from the recent past” which includes the “the regulatory onslaught of the last few years,” with things like limits on offshore drilling.

“We know we need more energy, but we haven’t seen any meaningful expansion of offshore access in decades,” Gerard said. “A small, vocal minority have taken it upon themselves to target these projects to advance their anti-fossil fuel political agenda,” he added.

December 4, 2016

Jack Gerard called on President-Elect Donald Trump to “restore the rule of law in our nation’s regulatory regime” by a fast approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline when he takes office.34Michael Tadeo. “API’S JACK GERARD CALLS ON PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP TO APPROVE THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE,” American Petroleum Institute, December 4, 2016. Archived January 20, 2017. URL:

“Moving forward, I am hopeful President-elect Trump will reject the Obama administration’s shameful actions to deny this vital energy project, restore the rule of law in the regulatory process, and make this project’s approval a top priority as he takes office in January,” Gerard said.

August 12, 2016

In an API Email to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Jack Gerard claims that no more studies are needed to confirm that fracking is safe:35Jack N. Gerard. “Dear Administrator McCarthy” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, August 12, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“[A]mple work has already been undertaken to support the conclusion that there is no link between hydraulic fracturing and drinking water impacts,” Gerard writes.

In conclusion, Gerard notes that “API continues to stand ready to assist EPA in whatever way we can to bring this study to a successful conclusion based on sound science.”

May 18, 2016

Jack N. Gerard wrote a letter on behalf of API (PDF) encouraging Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to support Section 1090 of H.R. 4909, the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which would streamline liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits.36Jack N. Gerard. “Dear Speaker Ryan and Democratic Leader Pelosi:” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, May 18, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Gerard sent a similar API letter in January, 2016 supporting S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, in particular provisions which “will require the Department of Energy to consider natural gas export permit applications in a timely manner.”37Jack N. Gerard. “Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Reid:” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, January 28, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

February 26, 2015

Jack Gerard addressed the American Association of Blacks in Energy at a 2015 Energy Summit. In his remarks, Gerard introduced a report titled “Minority and Female Employment in the Oil & Gas and Petrochemical Industries,” which API had commissioned IHS Global to compile.38JACK GERARD’S REMARKS TO THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF BLACKS IN ENERGY,” American Petroleum Institute, February 26, 2015. Archived January 18, 2017. URL:

“The report emphasizes the fact that in the decades ahead the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries will spur the creation of hundreds of thousands of new, well-paying jobs that require people with a wide range of skill sets, training and educational achievement levels,” Gerard remarked. “Our goal is to ensure that anyone who wants a well-paying career has that opportunity. Because that’s the only way we will seize America’s energy moment.”

On September 17, 2014, Gerard presented the same report before the US. House of Representatives discussing H.R. 4526, The 21st Century Energy Workforce Development Jobs Initiative Act of 2014.39TESTIMONY OF JACK GERARD BEFORE THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON H.R. 4526, THE 21ST CENTURY ENERGY WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT JOBS INITIATIVE ACT OF 2014,” American Petroleum Institute, September17, 2014. Archived January 18, 2017. URL:

November 16, 2015

In a press call, Jack Gerard outlined a “market-based emissions reduction model” in order to combat climate change.40JACK GERARD OUTLINES MARKET-BASED EMISSIONS REDUCTION MODEL IN PRESS CALL,” American Petroleum Institute, November 16, 2015. Archived January 19, 2017. URL:

Discussing the Paris climate conference, Gerard said, “There should be no place for dogmatic adherence to ideology. But rather science, economic reality and real-world proven results should guide the delegates’ deliberations.”

Gerard goes on to denounce President Obama’s Clean Power plan, claiming it “ignores the natural gas success story and pushes power plants to adopt sources like wind and solar” when it should be focusing on “natural gas, the energy source that is providing the greater benefit now.”

He also denounces the Obama administration’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, claiming it “demonstrates the administrations [sic] priority for perception over reality. […] Carbon emissions will actually be 42 percent greater without Keystone XL.”

In conclusion, Gerard said that “America’s market-driven success should be the model for the Paris conference. […] That means avoiding massive, command-and-control government mandates.”

January 12, 2015

In an API press conference held before President Obama’s State of the Union Address, Jack Gerard urges for repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard:41JACK GERARD HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE AHEAD OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS,” American Petroleum Institute, January 12, 2015. Archived January 18, 2017. URL:

“Like the recently repealed crude export ban, the RFS is a relic of a time of energy scarcity,” Gerard said.

Gerard goes on to suggest that Obama should reduce regulation on the energy industry: “Instead of pursuing a barrage of job-crushing new regulations – many of which are duplicative and unnecessary – President Obama has the opportunity to seize the initiative and embrace policies that recognize the value of the energy resurgence and acknowledge that the goals of environmental progress and energy production are not mutually exclusive,” he said.

April 29, 2014

Jack Gerard wrote a letter to Chairman Fred Upton and Ranking Member Henry Waxman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives, encouraging them to support H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act. H.R. 6 would expedite approvals for LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) exports.42Jack N. Gerard. “Dear Chairman Upton and Ranking Member Waxman:” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, April 29, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“Our industry is prepared to invest billions in LNG export terminals, each of which represent a multimillion dollar investment in infrastructure, as well as longterm investments in U.S. labor and materials. Yet, over 20 applications for export permits remain on hold at the Department of Energy (DOE),” Gerard lamented.

July 30, 2012

Jack N. Gerard wrote a pro-Keystone-XL letter (PDF) to Secretary Clinton on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute:43Jack N. Gerard. “RE: Notice of Intent to Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and to Conduct Scoping and to Initiate Consultation Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for the Proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline Proposed to Extend from Phillips, MT (the border crossing) to Steele City, NE (77 Fed. Reg. 36032-36034, June 15, 2012)” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, July 30, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“I want to reiterate what API has stated in previous letters to DOS: it is in the best interests of all Americans to build the pipeline to ensure our long-term energy security, a dependable supply of Canadian oil to U.S. refineries and the creation of thousands of American jobs,” Gerard wrote.

With regards to the final environmental impact statement (FEIS), Gerard added, “Additionally, given the extensive examination already given to the potential climate impacts in the prior FEIS, additional analysis of this topic is not warranted.”

March 7, 2012

In testimony March 7 at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Jack Gerard suggested that President Obama could be blamed for high gas prices. The Washington Post reported that “The tale was an indictment of President Obama. But there’s one hitch, say oil experts. It doesn’t hold together.” They go on to cite industry experts, who explain other reasons for the fluctuations.44Steven Mufson. “Petroleum institute’s numbers on oil policy a matter of dispute,” The Washington Post, April 6, 2012. Archived January 19, 2017. URL:

January 4, 2012

Jack Gerard, in his capacity as President of the American Petroleum Institute, announced a new API campaign to promote approval for the Keystone XL pipeline and other energy industry ventures such as expanded offshore drilling, and opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and more federal lands to drilling.45Brendan DeMelle. “API’s New ‘Vote 4 Energy’ Ad Campaign Is Thinly Veiled Election Year Bullying,” DeSmog, January 4, 2012.

In a January 4 speech, Gerard also denounced the Obama Administration for its delay of the Keystone XL pipeline, calling it “the largest shovel-ready project promising 20,000 construction-related jobs over the next two years, enabling more than half a million new U.S. jobs by 2035,” reported Greenpeace.46“Dear Ms. Schapiro:” (PDF), Greenpeace, January 26, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The “Vote for Energy” campaign was launched a day after the the Iowa caucus set the stage for the 2012 presidential election, and included ads on television, radio and print media. The campaign ran nation wide, but focused heavily on Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and other states where energy as a key issue, reports CNN Money.47Steve Hargreaves. “Oil industry launches big election PR push,” CNN Money, January 5, 2012. Archived January 17, 2017. URL:

Greenpeace created a parody website,, outlining the API campaign. Greenpeace said in a statement:

“The Vote 4 Energy campaign is the latest effort by the oil industry to fake citizen support for its agenda. The American Petroleum Institute has repeatedly spent millions to block clean energy solutions and fake grassroots support for Big Oil.”

When Greenpeace confronted Gerard about the funding behind the Vote for Energy campaign, he refused to provide a response:48Jack Gerard won’t reveal how much API spends on the ‘Vote 4 Energy’ ad campaign” YouTube Video uploaded by user PolluterWatch, March 7, 2012. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

You can view samples of API’s “Vote 4 Energy” ads here, which include photos of, as The Washington Post put it, “ordinary looking folks” beside a pitch for how fossil fuel development will boost jobs.49Steven Mufson. “Jack Gerard, the force majeure behind Big Oil,The Washington Post, April 7, 2012. Archived January 18, 2017. URL:

As of 2016, API was still sending out materials under the “Vote 4 Energy” heading.50“Vote4Energy” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, January 7, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

November 11, 2011

Jack Gerard sent a letter (PDF) on behalf of API to Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection agency, opposing Tier 3 regulations and claiming that the need to cap sulphur emissions “isn’t supported by reality.”51Jack N. Gerard. “RE: Letter from Mitch Bainwol, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), dated October 6, 2011 concerning ‘Changes to US Retail Gasoline’” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, November 11, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

October 20, 2011

Jack N. Gerard sent an open letter to Lisa Jackson (PDF), Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), criticizing the agency’s approach to evaluating the impacts of Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on drinking water.52“Dear Administrator Jackson:” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, October 20, 2011. Archived .pdf one file at DeSmog.

Gerard claims the scientific validity of the studies would be in question if the EPA tested samples at their own facilities “using unapproved protocol.” The letter was signed by representatives of major industry groups including:53“Dear Administrator Jackson:” (PDF), American Petroleum Institute, October 20, 2011. Archived .pdf one file at DeSmog.

  • Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)
  • American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC)
  • US Oil & Gas Association
  • America’s Natural Gas Alliance
  • Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association

August 16, 2011

Jack Gerard, representing API, attended a White House meeting to lobby against ozone regulations. He appeared alongside members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the NPRA (Now the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the American Chemistry Council to speak to top administration officials such as Cass Sunstein at OMB’s information and regulatory affairs division and EPA’s Gina McCarthy.54Meeting Record,” White House Office of Management and Budget, August 16, 2011. Archived May 4, 2012. URL:

According to White House meeting records, those present included:55Meeting Record,” White House Office of Management and Budget, August 16, 2011. Archived May 4, 2012. URL:

Charles DrevnaNPRA
Bruce JostenU.S. Chamber of Commerce
Cal DooleyAmerican Chemistry Council
Jack GerardAPI
Jay TimmonsNAM
Donna HarmanAmerican Forest & Paper Assn.
John EnglerBRT
Dan UtechDomestic Policy Council
Gary GuzyCEQ
Carl ShapiroCEA
Michael FitzpatrickOMB/OIRA
Cass SunsteinOMB/OIRA
William DaleyWhite House
Gina McCarthyEPA
Dominic ManciniOMB/OIRA

August 12, 2009

A leaked memo (PDF) obtained by Greenpeace and written by Jack Gerard for the American Petroleum Institute (API), in cooperation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) revealed the coordinated campaign behind the “Energy Citizens” which had been designed as a “grass roots” effort to combat climate change legislation.56Phil Radford. “Dear Mr. Gerard” (PDF), Greenpeace, August 12, 2009. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

DeSmog reported on the API’s “Fake ‘Grassroots’ Campaign” noting that the leaked memo asks API’s member companies to recruit employees, retirees, vendors and contractors to attend “Energy Citizen” rallies in key Congressional districts nationwide. API is focusing on 21 states that have “a significant industry presence” or “assets on the ground.”57Kevin Grandia. “Leaked Memo: Oil Lobby Launches Fake ‘Grassroots’ Campaign,” DeSmog, August 13, 2009.

Grist noted that the majority of the Energy Citizens’ rallies were organized by oil-industry lobbyists. They provided the following list of lobbyists who had been organizing the “grass roots” rallies:58Kate Sheppard. “Majority of ‘Energy Citizens’ rallies organized by oil-industry lobbyists,” Grist, August 22, 2009. Archived January 19, 2017. URL:

  • Greensboro, N.C., rally organizer Bill Weatherspoon is a registered lobbyist for API in North Carolina.
  • Lima, Ohio, organizer Terry Fleming is a registered lobbyist for the Ohio Petroleum Council.
  • Atlanta, Ga., organizer Ric Cobb is a registered lobbyist for the Georgia Petroleum Council.
  • Elkhart, Ind., organizer Maggie McShane lobbies on behalf of the Indiana Petroleum Council.
  • Nashville, Tenn., organizer Mike Williams is a registered lobbyist for API.
  • Bismarck, N.D., organizer Ron Ness is a former registered lobbyist for the North Dakota Petroleum Council.
  • Tampa, Fla., organizer David Mica registered lobbyist for the Florida Petroleum Council.
  • St. Louis, Mo., organizer Ryan Rowden is a registered lobbyist for the Missouri Petroleum Council.
  • Greenville, S.C., organizer Kay Clamp is a registered lobbyist for the South Carolina Petroleum Council.
  • Lincoln, Neb., point of contact Chris Abboud is a registered lobbyist for the Agri-Business Association of Nebraska.
  • Springfield, Ill., organizer Dave Sykuta is a registered lobbyist [PDF] for API.
  • Detroit, Mich., organizer John Griffin is a registered lobbyist for the Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan.
  • Richmond, Va., organizer Mike Ward is a registered lobbyist for API in Virginia.
  • Philadelphia, Pa., organizer Rolf Hanson registered lobbyist for API in Pennsylvania.
  • Huron, S.D., organizer Tim Dougherty is a registered lobbyist.

Gerard states that API is ready to bus in company members and provide logistical support, and reveals that API has retained “a highly experienced events management company that has produced successful rallies for presidential campaigns, corporations and interest groups.”59Kevin Grandia. “Leaked Memo: Oil Lobby Launches Fake ‘Grassroots’ Campaign,” DeSmog, August 13, 2009.

At the time, “Tentative venues” for the rallies included:

  • Perry GA
  • Detroit MI
  • Roswell NM
  • Greensboro NC
  • Farmington NM
  • Ohio (venue being finalized)
  • Greeley CO
  • Nashville TN
  • Indiana (venue being finalized)
  • Bismarck ND
  • Tampa FL
  • Sioux Falls SD
  • Greenville SC
  • Anchorage AK
  • Joliet IL
  • Charleston WV
  • Fairfax VA
  • Philadelphia PA
  • Lincoln NE
  • Missouri TBD
  • Arkansas TBD

In addition to API, “Energy Citizens” is supported by the National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau, American Highway Users Alliance, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, FreedomWorks, American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, and Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.60Alex Kaplun, “’Energy Citizens’ Take Aim at Climate Legislation,” The New York Times, August 12, 2009. Archived Aug 11, 2015.

O’Dwyer’s Magazine wrote that Energy Citizens “has loudly protested the EPA’s decision to have greenhouse gas emissions regulated under the Clean Air Act,” also noting that API members include Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, GE, Halliburton and Shell.61Jon Gingerich. “The Politics of Climate Change,” O’Dwyer’s, February 2010. Archived January 17, 2017. URL:

Promotional flyers for the campaign warned that “Climate change legislation being considered in Washington will cause huge economic pain and produce little environmental gain,” reported The Wall Street Journal.62Ian Talley. “Lobby Groups to Use Town Hall Tactics to Oppose Climate Bill,The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2009. Archived January 17, 2017. URL:

The EPA had estimated the climate bill would only cost U.S. households “About a postage stamp a day.”63Ian Talley, “Lobby Groups to Use Town Hall Tactics to Oppose Climate Bill,” Washington Wire (Wall Street Journal Blog), August 11, 2009. Archived August 11, 2015.


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