Saturday, September 18, 2010

Big Oil Goes On Offensive

You can't walk two blocks in our Nation's Capital without running into a Big Oil advertisement. There are the Shell ads plastered in every possible nook and cranny of the Metro subway system and in so many spots in Union Station that they might as well name it Shell Station.

These ads are deceptive because Shell has rebranded itself an "energy" company that wants to "pass energy on to future generations." But will that energy be dirty oil and gas or clean and renewable energy? If it is dirty fossil fuels then there won't be much of a future for the next generation of consumers Shell is so desperately seeking.

Let's get one thing straight -- Shell and other Big Oil companies are in the fossil fuel business and there is no way around it no matter how many oversized ads they plaster across D.C. If they were talking about algae oil and geothermal energy as the solution to greenhouse gas emissions that would be one thing, but they aren't. Instead they are talking about burning "cleaner" oil and natural gas. But guess what? They are still fossil fuels with a heavy carbon footprint that contribute to global warming no matter how you dance around it or no matter how many additives you mix in.

And then there is the ultimate deceptive advertising and marketing campaign run by the Oil and Natural Gas Industry in the form of the "Rally for Jobs" signs plastered on street lamps all over town and in banner ads on the Washington Post website.

This ladies and gentlemen is the result of millions of dollars being poured into fighting any sort of Climate Change and Clean Energy legislation that would cut the corporate tax breaks for dirty energy companies in favor of incentives for wind, solar, geothermal and biofuel companies. It is important the voting public sees right through their propaganda and says no to the dirty energy industry by electing officials who stand up to Big Oil and boot out politicians who are on their short leash.

This "Rally for Jobs" is actually not a rally at all, but a carefully crafted "virtual rally" on September 22nd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. where I assume a litany of oil and gas industry employees will spout off from Houston, Texas about how we need dirty energy jobs and not taxes. Not one word will be mentioned about renewable energy and energy efficiency and how for decades the tax breaks have been unfairly distributed to big oil and gas companies to the detriment of millions of clean energy jobs that would save our economy and the environment.

Shame on Big Oil for pouring millions into these deceptive advertising campaigns to keep the public addicted to their harmful products when they could be using that money to invest more in research and development of renewable energy sources that would end our dependence on oil and natural gas once and for all.

Pictures of Shell's advertising blitz:

Metro Train

Union Station

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