By John Donovan
The Financial Times reports today that the US oil industry is split on the question of climate change.
The split has been revealed from a leaked memo issued to its members by the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the US oil industry, including core members ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell.
According to the FT article, the memo leaked to Greenpeace outlined a plan to “deploy thousands of workers in so-called “Energy Citizen” rallies protesting against imminent climate change legislation” with members asked to “move aggressively to stage up to 22 public meetings, similar to the recent protests against President Barack Obama’s healthcare plans.”
However, some API members, including Shell, which has multiple greenwash convictions, have hedged their bets by cynically also becoming members of the US Climate Change Partnership “which supports many of Mr Obama’s environmental policies.”
Simultaneous membership of both lobbying groups, with such totally incompatible objectives on a fundamentally important subject, is a PR balancing trick which Shell and other oil giants, with a duplicitous foot in each camp, may find it difficult to sustain.
The American public is unlikely to be fooled by the two-faced approach from a company notorious for deceptive PR and misleading advertising, e.g. the spectacular example above of colorful flower petals emerging from smokestacks at a Shell refinery. So much more attractive than the deadly cocktail of toxic chemicals normally associated with such emissions.