“We are dropping everything here in the context of the opposition to anti-energy provisions,” Mike Somers, president and CEO of the mighty American Petroleum Institute, told Granthshala in an interview.
Since August 11, when the US Senate passed a budget resolution, APIs have spent at least $423,000 on Facebook ads that have been viewed 21 million times, according to a report released Thursday by Influence Map, a think-tank. Tank that tracks trade and finance impacts. climate crisis.
“We are using every tool at our disposal to work against these proposals,” Somers said.
Climate activists decimated APIs to try to stand in the way of what may be a generation-by-generation effort to tackle the climate crisis.
“API knows that the future will be built with clean energy and they have a serious political problem. That is why they will do everything they can to stop climate progress and continue to pocket the CEOs of the oil industry,” said Climate K. Executive Director Lori Lodds Power, a media operation founded by the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, told Granthshala in a statement.
“But their lie doesn’t work anymore. API is losing its power in Washington and Congress will pass the Build Back Better Act and invest in a clean energy future for the next generation,” Lodds said.
Exxon spends to fight tax hike
Despite pressure from Big Oil, the Biden administration has signaled it is fearless in its effort to fight climate change.
“Addressing the climate crisis is a top priority for President Biden, and this administration is using all the tools in our tool chest to solve it. Full stop,” a White House spokesman told Granthshala.
Exxon has spent heavily in recent days as lawmakers struggle to finalize a deal. Between September 21 and September 27 alone, Influence Map said, Axon spent $296,954 on Facebook ads, which have garnered 5.4 million impressions.
In a statement to Granthshala, Exxon emphasized its concern with Build Back Better, a proposal focused solely on legislation to lift the corporate tax rate.
“Our lobbying efforts are concerned with a tax burden that could hurt American businesses, and we have made that position publicly known,” Exxon said in the statement. “ExxonMobil stands by our position that increasing taxes on American businesses has made America less competitive.”
Exxon stressed that it has supported the Paris climate agreement since its inception, and the company “continues to advocate for methane regulations and an economy-wide price on carbon.”
Natural gas is a major battleground
However, API, of which Exxon, Chevron and several other energy companies are members, is taking issue with the methane regulations in the Build Back Better plan.
Scientists say methane traps 25 times more heat than carbon dioxide, making it a central problem in the climate crisis. Methane is the main component of natural gas, the major way to power the US electric grid and heat homes.
“At its core, it’s a tax on US natural gas,” API CEO Somers told Granthshala in an interview. “It’s an example of something we’re trying to get behind.”
Somers said of methane tariffs, “As natural gas prices rise, especially as we move into winter, the last thing lawmakers should do is raise prices on American consumers.”
Europe’s gas crisis
“In Europe, there has been a very rapid run to the energy transition. I would argue that it was very fast,” he said. “Lawmakers in the United States should pay close attention to what they are seeing in Europe as a warning sign for what could happen here.”
Of course, Somers recognized that policy in Europe is just one factor. There is another factor: Russia.
“Russia remains a difficult actor in energy markets,” Sommers said.
Indeed, Goldman Sachs warned in a report on Friday that the widespread availability of Russian natural gas supplies is one of the biggest sources of uncertainty in Europe. “Russia may exacerbate or potentially solve the EU’s gas shortage,” Goldman Sachs wrote.
Greening the grid. But how soon?
Somers said API is working hard to take the clean electricity program out of law or amend it, arguing that natural gas has helped reduce emissions in the electricity industry.
“We think that if you make that transition early, it will drive up costs and reduce reliability,” Somers said.
API said it would continue to push for government policies that would reduce emissions, pointing to a climate action framework released earlier this year that seeks to invest in groundbreaking technology, regulate methane and “market-based” carbon pricing”.
“Republicans and Democrats agree that climate change has to be addressed,” Somers said. “Our industry does too and is taking action through innovation and supportive policies such as carbon pricing and direct regulation of methane.”
Still, API’s entire effort to water parts of Build Back Better underscores the backlash of the fight to shape legislation intended to address the climate crisis.
Credit : www.cnn.com