An initiative being organized by the Koch brothers and funded by oil and gas interests aims to redouble an attack on electrified vehicles, said a report yesterday by the Huffington Post.
Issues and efforts being attacked include clean energy strategies, clean car subsidies, and a message of the benefits of oil and gas will reportedly be emphasized, including for society’s less privileged.
Connecting the dots from a meeting held late last year in San Antonio called “Changing the Energy Narrative,” the Post alleges about $10 million per year will be dedicated to the cause.
But if such a front group lobbying organization is yet to appear formally and declare its mission, this has not happened. The article however sounds the alarm based on numerous interviews and sources, and opens with a grabber lede sentence to make clear PEV advocates should be aware.
“The oil and gas industry may have thought it had killed the electric car, but sales — boosted by generous government subsidies — rose dramatically between 2010 and 2014, and energy giants are worried the thing may have come back to life,” opens the expose. “Time to kill it again.”
Although no response from those accused was given, the article lays out evidence to support the case, citing past behaviors and actions from petroleum concerns known to be antagonistic to clean energy.
Billionaires Charles and David Koch head the country’s second-largest privately held corporation with $115 billion in annual revenues, and, says the report, as generous conservative donors, they are up to more of the same.
In the past, they’ve also been linked to attacks on wind, solar, and the notion of climate change, observes the report, and they do stand to lose much if projections of as high as 5 percent market share for plug-in electrified vehicles come true by 2025.
Recruited to lead new anti-EV group, says The Huffington Post, are Koch Brother confidante and company board member James Mahoney and lobbyist Charlie Drevna, who until last year was head of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.
These men are considered influential and effective but are working behind the scenes to the degree that they can, says the report.
But in taking on electrified cars which are championed by the Obama administration and growing in public favor – however slowly against the reemergence of cheap gas – they may wish to take care, said former top ConocoPhillips lobbyist Don Duncan.
“Producers and refiners need to be careful in going after clean energy subsidies and incentives — unless they’re being paid for by the petroleum industry,” said Duncan, adding that attacks on clean energy subsidies potentially “could again refocus the debate on subsidies and incentives enjoyed by producers and refiners.”
Image Source: Flickr/DonkeyHotey