Thursday, March 7, 2019

National Petroleum Council Influences the US Government from the Inside

The National Petroleum Council (NPC) may be part of the US government but it is anything but non-partisan. They are a group composed largely of fossil fuel advocates who have openly professed an anti-science pro-dirty energy agenda.

There are a lot of fossil fuel front groups that influence government from the outside but the NPC is a federally chartered and privately funded advisory committee established in 1946.  As explained on their website: "The purpose of the NPC is solely to represent the views of the oil and natural gas industries in advising, informing, and making recommendations to the Secretary of Energy with respect to any matter relating to oil and natural gas, or to the oil and gas industries submitted to it or approved by the Secretary."

With the assistance of API the Energy Department's petroleum council has buried research, resisted regulations and advocated for increased extraction of fossil fuels.

The council is composed of the movers and shakers in the fossil fuel industry. Some of the the people who helped run this organization include former ExxonMobil CEO and former secretary of state Rex Tillerson who was council chairman. Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney led the group before he became vice-president in 2001.

Of 192 members on the council’s roster, 144 come from the oil and gas industry. Some of the environmentally dangerous recommendations of the council include opening up the Arctic to more drilling.

This council has been influencing policy for decades before Trump came on the scene and before Republicans became shills for the fossil fuel industry. However, there can be no mistake that the Trump administration has emboldened their agenda.

Shortly after Trump was inaugurated Energy Secretary Perry addressed the petroleum council’s meeting and assured them that government oversight would end. "The government’s not going to be in your way," he said. With expanded oil and gas extraction and the elimination of a raft of regulations it would appear that Perry has been true to his word.

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