June 19, 2017
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Claims to Support an “All of the Above” Energy Strategy; Its Actions Tell Another Story
The Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy Almost Exclusively Advocates for Oil, Gas and Coal at the Expense of Renewables and the Environment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy has abandoned its “all of the above” approach towards U.S. energy independence and has instead pushed for policies that weaken renewable fuel usage in favor of an overwhelming dependence on fossil fuels, Public Citizen said in a report today.
The Institute for 21st Century Energy has publicly stated that it supports the development of all energy sources, including traditional fossil fuels and alternatives such as wind and solar. According to a new report by Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch, this “all of the above” messaging is nothing more than a smokescreen for the Chamber’s efforts to further the interests of the fossil fuel industry and hinder the growth of renewables.
The Institute for 21st Century Energy’s Twitter feed, policy proposals and lobbying activities all demonstrate the Chamber’s unwavering fealty to the fossil fuel industry.
In an analysis of the Institute for 21st Century Energy’s Twitter account, the report found that the vast majority of the organization’s recent tweets promoting specific energy sources offered strong support for the oil and gas industries.
• Oil and Gas (83 percent)
• Coal (10 percent)
• “All of the Above” (4 percent)
• Nuclear (3 percent)
• Renewables (0 percent)
Similarly, policy proposals offered by the organization advocate both a renewed focus on fossil fuels and an elimination of important subsidies for renewables.
Lobbying disclosures by the Chamber also point to this single-minded focus on fossil fuels and environmental deregulation. Quarterly reports from 2016 reveal that the Chamber lobbied frequently for fossil fuels while ignoring renewables.
• Oil and Gas (14 instances)
• Coal (7 instances)
• Nuclear (0 instances)
• Renewables (0 instances)
The Chamber’s “all of the above” stance is designed to fend off accusations of anti-environmentalism rather than actually inform the Chamber’s energy policy. Superficial support for renewables has helped the Chamber to advance damaging energy policy even as the negative consequences of climate change in the U.S. become increasingly clear. “The Chamber’s communications strategy may have gotten a bit savvier since the days it was calling to put climate science on trial in a ‘Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century,’ but make no mistake: its underlying policy objectives haven’t changed one iota, said Dan Dudis, director of Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch project. “The Chamber is still shilling for the fossil fuel industry and attempting to undermine the fast-growing and innovative renewable energy industry.”
Read the report here.