This article discusses the fossil fuel industry’s attempts to mislead the public about the industry.
A couple of weeks ago, Reuters reported on a new effort by the American Petroleum Institute: Explore Offshore. Its goal is “to convince Hispanic and black communities to support the Trump administration’s proposed expansion of offshore drilling.”
Per Reuters, a key part of the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) effort to convince minority communities to support a product that disproportionately hurts them is through a series of op-eds. Media Matters took a look at the pieces that have been published so far, and surprise! They’re misleading. They can’t even get the API talking points (which are going to be biased) right, as one API stat about economic benefits of drilling was exaggerated “by a factor of 20.”
But we’re all too accustomed to these sort of shenanigans from the industry. What’s perhaps even more galling is that this minority-targeted effort is run predominately by old white men. In the leadership circle of Explore Offshore, there are as many women of color as there are men named Jim (that is, only two). The one African-American man involved, Steve Gilchrist, counts Steven Bannon as a friend. (Bannon, you no doubt remember, used Breitbart to launder White Nationalism into the mainstream.) And while the group touts itself as bipartisan, the sole Democrat among the national and state Chairs is Jim Webb, who has expressed an “affinity for the Confederacy.”