Sunday, April 8, 2012


What happens when the most profitable corporations in the history of the planet decides that governments of the people shouldn’t dictate what regulations their industry must follow?

“The strategy,” says Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Patroleum Institute, “is to influence lawmakers by mobilizing their constituents.”

“If we’re concerned about a particular member [of Congress], we will educate that constituency and encourage people to weigh in with their elected official,” he says in a conference room at API’s L Street office. “Congress is a lagging indicator. Congress is responsive to the American people. That’s why a well-educated electorate is a key to sound policy.”  [fromThe Washington Post]

Oil industry group outspends many super PACs

By Ben Geman - 04/08/12 08:58 AM ET

The Washington Post has a detailed look at the powerful American Petroleum Institute (API) and Jack Gerard, the trade group’s president.

The piece provides data on the scope of API’s political spending and public relations efforts. From the Post story:
The silver-haired Gerard, 54, may not be well-known outside the business. But as API president, he can spread the institute’s views — with members’ money. In 2010, he directed $63 million, a third of API’s total budget, to an outside public relations firm, Edelman, for ad campaigns, according to API’s most recent tax return. So far this year, the API has bought at least $4.3 million in broadcast ads, largely in a handful of swing states, outspending all but a few super PACs and almost every trade group, according to figures compiled by Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group.
The group is battling White House policies such as President Obama’s push to strip industry tax breaks, his rejection (thus far) of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, upcoming EPA air emissions rules for natural gas drilling, and offshore leasing plans that API calls too restrictive.

The story also quotes critics who say API is too pugnacious and partisan; explores Gerard’s background and support for Mitt Romney; and examines why he believes Obama's approach is "not consistent" with good energy policy. Click here for the whole thing.

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