"You’ve probably seen ads promoting gas and oil companies as the solutions to
climate change. They’re meant to be inspiring and hopeful, with scenes of a
green, clean future.
But shiny ads are not all these companies do to protect their commercial
interests in the face of a rapidly heating world. Most also provide financial
support to industry groups that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on
political activities, often to thwart polices designed to slow climate change.
For example, The New York Times
recently reported on the Propane Education
and Research Council’s attempts to derail efforts to electrify homes and
buildings in New York, in part by committing nearly US$900,000 to the New York
Propane Gas Association, which flooded social media with misleading information
about energy-efficient heat pumps.
The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, which represents oil
refiners and petrochemical firms, has spent millions on public relations
campaigns, such as promoting a rollback of federal fuel efficiency standards.
These practices have been going on for decades, and evidence shows that
industry groups have played key roles in blocking state and federal climate
policies. This matters not just because of the enormous sums the groups are
spending, but also because they often act as a command center for political
campaigns to kill pro-climate policies.
We study the political activities of industry groups. In a recent research
paper, we dug through U.S. tax filings to follow the money trail of trade
associations engaged on climate change issues and track the billions they have
spent to shape federal policy."
Via Kevin O'Brien.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics