By Christian Downie, Australian National University Robert Brulle Brown University
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You’ve probably seen ads promoting gas and oil companies as the solutions to climate change. They’re meant to be inspiring and hopeful, with scenes of a green, clean future.
These companies aren’t just looking for shiny advertisements to protect their commercial interests amid a rapidly warming world. Many also support industry groups with hundreds of millions of dollars in financial assistance, often to stop policies that slow climate change.
For example, The New York Times recently reported on the Propane Education and Research Council’s attempts to derail efforts to electrify homes and buildings in New York, in part by committing nearly US$900,000 to the New York Propane Gas Association, which flooded social media with misleading information about energy-efficient heat pumps.
American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers is an association of oil refiners and petroleum companies. They have spent millions on public relation campaigns such as encouraging the repeal of federal fuel efficiency standards.
These practices have been around for decades. Evidence supports this.