US Oil & Gas Lobby Launches Extensive Ad Blitz Advocating Fossil Fuels Amidst Shifting Energy Landscape

US Oil & Gas Lobby Launches Extensive Ad Blitz Advocating Fossil Fuels Amidst Shifting Energy Landscape

In 2023, the United States has secured its position as the leading global natural gas exporter, surpassing Qatar and Australia. The American Petroleum Institute (API), the country’s primary oil and gas lobby, has initiated a substantial eight-figure advertising campaign known as “Lights on Energy” to advocate for fossil fuel reliance among voters.

The campaign’s website employs language emphasizing the critical nature of oil and natural gas dependence for both Americans and the global community, framing it as essential for national security and the preservation of the nation’s future. Phrases such as “reliable,” “secure,” and “affordable” are strategically used to underscore the perceived shortcomings of renewable energy alternatives.

The website asserts that everyday comforts are made possible by products derived from oil and natural gas. Despite the United States having per capita emissions among the highest globally, the site downplays the environmental impact by attributing it to lifestyle or luxury emissions, a stance in stark contrast to countries like India, where emissions are linked to survival or subsistence needs.

While praising the United States for purportedly leading in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction over the past two decades, the website overlooks the nuance that the absolute reduction is influenced by the country’s initially higher emissions compared to other Global North nations. A University of Leeds study reveals that the sustained rate of CO2 emissions reduction is only -1.1 percent per year since 2005, and for all greenhouse gas emissions, it is merely -0.5 percent annually.

The campaign’s focus on displacing coal use globally through U.S. natural gas exports is emphasized by API President Mike Sommers. However, concerns are raised about the unaddressed methane emissions associated with oil and natural gas production, as methane is significantly more potent in contributing to global warming.

Despite the call in the Global Stocktake text from the UAE Consensus at the 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for countries to “transition away” from fossil fuels, the campaign exploits a recognized loophole that allows for the continued use of natural gas as a “transitional fuel.” This move sparks questions about accountability for methane emissions and raises concerns about the campaign’s alignment with global climate goals.