“When you look at their advocacy, it is consistently a false choice between being environmentally responsible and enjoying economic prosperity,” said Jeff Clark, chief executive of Advanced Power Alliance, an Austin-based trade group for renewable energy companies. “They’re against offshore wind, yet they spent decades advocating for offshore oil drilling. They are against subsidies, but only when it applies to renewables. They’re for looser restrictions on fracking and drilling, but greater restrictions for solar and wind. This organization exists to defend fossil fuels from any threat to their market share.”
The Spread of Misinformation and Falsehoods
On Thanksgiving, Jason Isaac, an executive at the group, tweeted “Today, I’m thankful to live a high-carbon lifestyle and wish the rest of the world could too. Energy poverty = poverty. #decarbonization is dangerous and deadly.”
Mr. Isaac said that the benefits of oil, gas and coal outweigh the risks, and that while emissions may be warming the planet, the changes are modest and humans can adapt.
“Absolutely, man is having an impact, I just disagree with the argument that it’s dangerous,” Mr. Isaac said in an interview.
Mr. Isaac’s remarks run counter to the overwhelming scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is already making weather more extreme, and if not quickly and sharply abated will lead to increasingly catastrophic floods, heat, storms, drought and social unrest.
“Just as the tobacco industry had front groups and the opioid industry had front groups, this is part of the fossil fuel disinformation playbook,” said David Michaels, an epidemiologist at the George Washington School of Public Health who has studied corporate influence campaigns. “The role of these so called policy organizations is not to provide useful information to the public, but to promote the interests of their sponsors, which are often antithetical to public health.”