Half of Western Energy Alliance Membership Already Jumped Ship  

HELENA, MT- Western Energy Alliance, a Denver-based industry front-group fueled by Big Oil, has seen an unprecedented decline in membership in recent years. Just one year after multi-national oil giant BP decided to leave the front-group due to its backward positions and opposition to acting on climate, Accountable.US discovered that upwards of 100 additional members have left since 2017 and its membership is about half the size it was in 2012. The Alliance’s steep decline in membership was confirmed by the front-group’s executive director in an E&E News story.  

 “The warming climate reality is all around us, yet industry front-groups like Western Energy Alliance continue to misinform the public and obstruct the Biden administration’s commonsense policies to address climate change,” said Jayson O’Neill, Accountable.US spokesperson. “This front-group’s head-in-the-sand positions are rightfully pushing it to obsolescence. The few remaining members should really question the value of continuing to have an out-of-touch voice like Western Energy Alliance speak on behalf of the industry, because it’s clearly not helping.” 

Western Energy Alliance (WEA) has been one of the most vocal out-of-touch obstructionists to the Biden administration’s commonsense efforts to address climate change, confirm qualified nominees, fix America’s broken public lands and waters leasing system, and ensure taxpayers are not being shortchanged in the process. But the group’s opposition to conserving America’s shared resources and its efforts to derail climate action have members leaving in droves. 

The front-group, along with other Big Oil lobby groups like the American Petroleum Institute — which is also facing membership declines due to its opposition to acting on climate change — continue to spew false rhetoric about the Biden administration’s oil and gas leasing pause, even recently promoting an industry-slated study. The group’s executive director even chose to pile on to the Texas deep-freeze tragedy in an attempt to bolster natural gas before the facts were revealed that natural gas outages crippled the state’s utilities.  

 

*WEA’s self-reported membership from 2012, 2017, and 2021 

BACKROUND: 

Just Over One Year Ago, Oil Giant BP Left WEA Publicly, Citing The Group’s Anti-Climate Policies. “BP is withdrawing from three trade groups over climate policies, a move that comes after the company vowed to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The oil giant is pulling out of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the Western Energy Alliance and the Western States Petroleum Association, the company said Wednesday.” [Washington Post, 02/26/20

  • BP Also Cited WEA’s Opposition To Reducing Methane Pollution. “BP said that it was quitting WEA because it was ‘not aligned’ with BP’s positions on clamping down on methane leaks. The oil giant said it was leaving the other groups because of differences over putting a price on carbon.” [Washington Post, 02/26/20
  • In February 2021, WEA Said It “Represents 200 Member Companies.” “Western Energy Alliance represents 200 member companies engaged in all aspects of environmentally responsible exploration and production (E&P) of oil and natural gas in the West. The Alliance represents independent oil and gas producers, the majority of which are small businesses with an average of fourteen employees.” [WEA, captured 02/17/21]  
  • As Recently As 2017, WEA Said It Had “More Than 300 Members.” “Western Energy Alliance focuses on federal legislative, regulatory, environmental, public lands and other policy issues. We represent the voice of the Western oil and natural gas industry in a variety of ways. […] The Alliance helps power America. Become one of more than 300 members for expanded opportunities and additional member benefits.” [WEA, archived 06/18/17
  • And In 2012, WEA Told Colorado’s Business Roundtable That It Represented “More Than 400 Companies.” “Western Energy Alliance is a non-profit trade association representing more than 400 companies across the West connected by the similar interest of environmentally responsible exploration and production of oil and natural gas. Companies within the intermountain west are represented six ways.” [Colorado Business Roundtable, 01/16/12
    • A Version Of WEA’s Website Archived In November 2013 Says The Group Has “400+” Members. [WEA, archived 11/08/13

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