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As consumers pay $4/gallon, American Petroleum Institute launches multi-million dollar image polishing campaign

May 14, 2008 — In a letter to the American Petroleum Institute (API), the environmental organization EARTHWORKS today called upon the API to stop its multi-million dollar, multi-year self-promotion campaign aimed at polishing its image during a time of record high energy prices. The letter calls upon API to aid American consumers by instead investing the PR campaign money in clean energy alternatives.

“[W]ith consumers paying close to $4 a gallon, the public's tolerance will be low for what amounts to resources wasted on self-promotion. When API's largest member, ExxonMobil, invests nearly zero dollars in renewable energy, it isn't time for image polishing,” wrote EARTHWORKS staff attorney Bruce Baizel. He proposed instead, “[t]he best public relations your industry could buy would be to take the funds you have earmarked for this campaign and spend them, starting today, to create and bring to market renewable, sustainable energy sources.”

Baizel's letter is the opening salvo in EARTHWORKS' new No Dirty Energy campaign, which will formally launch later in 2008. Following in the steps of the successful No Dirty Gold campaign, the No Dirty Energy campaign's central goal is to alert the public to the climate, ecosystem and community risks associated with mining and burning the world's dirtiest fuel sources, such as the tar sands in Canada, and to foster solutions that are clean, safe and protect communities.

“The energy industry can't simply stick its head in the tar sands without a calculation of the impact on the climate and without a commitment to best practice” said Bruce Baizel of the No Dirty Energy campaign. “The price is simply too high for the climate.”

“The No Dirty Energy campaign will harness consumer action to encourage corporate and government commitments to a pledge, and actions, to protect the climate and communities from these dirty sources,” said Bruce Baizel. “While the No Dirty Energy campaign is committed to exposing irresponsible corporate behavior like this PR campaign, it will also spotlight responsible actors who simultaneously advance their corporate interest AND the public good,” he continued.