Big Oil’s Reconciliation Rhetoric Doesn’t Line Up with Reality
Washington, D.C. — Once again, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has embarked on a lobbying blitz in an attempt to mislead turn the public into opposing Biden’s widely-popular Build Back Better plan. The trade group’s seven-figure ad buy is its latest attempt to falsely claim that Biden’s plan would hurt jobs and raise costs for Americans. In reality, the oil and gas industry is just trying to protect its own sky-high profits and maintain the status quo that helps them while throwing Americans under the bus.
“Big Oil will stop at nothing to preserve the status quo to keep its already wealthy executives rich and avoid paying its fair share of taxes,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “This ad blitz is just the latest in the industry’s ongoing campaign to block the Biden administration from investing in climate solutions and support for working- and middle-class families.”
The oil and gas industry is full of misleading rhetoric about the Biden administration’s climate policies, including provisions in the reconciliation package. But the reality is, Big Oil is only looking out for itself.
RHETORIC: The oil and gas industry has spent the entire Biden administration trying to appear climate friendly, boasting a “long-standing commitment to protecting the environment.”
REALITY: The American Petroleum Institute launched a seven-figure ad campaign attacking portions of the congressional reconciliation package, which would make vital investments in child care, education, and climate protection. The Group Energy Citizens, a project of API, has previously placed nearly $1.8 million in cable and broadcast ad buys across the country, including one ad that falsely claims Biden’s policies will limit funding for states and schools.
RHETORIC: API claims the oil and gas industry doesn’t receive special treatment from the government.
REALITY: API is running ads to protect the oil industry’s tax deductions, explicitly demanding that “energy producers” should not be taxed, despite already receiving billions of dollars in federal subsidies on top of major pandemic-related bailouts, which were enjoyed by about 70% of the entire oil and gas sector. In fact, many major oil and gas companies pay nothing in taxes while raking in federal tax refunds. In reality, taking away these handouts could bring in tens of billions of dollars.
RHETORIC: API claims to care about energy costs, arguing that the reconciliation bill could make Americans’ lives more expensive.
REALITY: Political decisions like those in the reconciliation bill materially affecting oil prices is “extremely unlikely.” Moreover, API may pretend to care about energy costs, but its member companies have no problems making millions while Americans pay more at the pump and blaming everyone else for the prices. When gas prices were higher for average Americans, oil and gas companies raked in billions for their wealthy executives and shareholders, making “record profits” in 2021 even as they pushed their fear-mongering campaign around Biden’s climate plans.
RHETORIC: API is trying to blame a potential decline in oil jobs on Biden’s climate action plans.
REALITY: Oil jobs have been in decline for years, even before the pandemic. In fact, oil and gas jobs significantly declined under the Trump administration, with 47,200 less jobs on average across Trump’s first four years compared to Obama’s last four years. And while Big Oil has lamented job loss in its industry, major oil and gas corporations had no problem laying off staff by the thousands while its executives took home massive paychecks.
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