Not content with the power it holds over lawmakers in Washington, the American Petroleum Institute is now waging a battle against small towns.
The powerful oil and gas lobbying group has weighed in on an important court case that will decide whether a town in rural, upstate New York has the right to ban oil and gas drilling activities – including the controversial fracking method – within its town borders. API, predictably, thinks that no town should have that right.
Of the ten largest U.S. oil and gas companies, nine are API members. All nine of these companies have headquarters in Texas, Oklahoma, or California – states where courts or legislatures have determined that towns or cities have the right to ban oil or gas drilling within their borders.
API members lost these battles on their home turf. Now they are trying to deny those rights in states where they want to open up large-scale oil and gas development.
Towns that want to ban drilling and fracking shouldn’t have to worry about facing off in court against API, the most powerful lobbying group in the country.
Will you tell the American Petroleum Institute to back off of communities that don’t want fracking and stop joining legal challenges against them? Sign the petition to support small towns standing up to the oil and gas industry.
But a glance at your membership list reveals that many of your member companies have headquarters located in states where there is established legal precedent for municipalities to do just that.
Of the ten largest US oil and gas companies, nine are members of your organization. And all nine have headquarters in Texas, Oklahoma, or California: states that allow towns to limit oil and gas drilling within municipal limits. Has this fact significantly hurt your members? Your members’ profit reports surely suggest otherwise.
But while your members’ profits have soared, public support for your industry is abysmal. Bullying small towns in legal battles will certainly not help improve your industry’s reputation.
Stop joining legal challenges against communities who don’t welcome oil and gas development. Your time would be much better spent helping your members transition into the renewable energy economy.