I only do this just to see what planet Phil Kent is from this week. I think he honestly feels that people blame high gas prices on Democrats… for not allowing more domestic drilling. We could only wish any ‘ole Joe Blow who needs a tank of gas to get to work followed public policy to such a degree.
What Joe Blow gas-user DOES do though is watch, and swallow, those now-ubiquitous media ads that are part of the The American Petroleum Institutes’s expensive public relations campaign to convince TV viewers that in NO way could they (the natural gas & petroleum industry) ever be part of the high gas price problem, with prices now soaring upwards and out of the typical reach of the middle class. How comforting it is to see Phil Kent leading the masses in this latest PR industry-generated Kool-Aid swallowing contest. From the Washington Post:
WASHINGTON — Faced with a national outcry over the high price of gasoline and soaring profits for energy companies, the oil and gas industry is waging an unusually pricey campaign to burnish its image.
The American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s main lobby, has embarked on a multiyear, multimedia, multimillion-dollar campaign, which includes advertising in the nation’s largest newspapers, news conferences in many state capitals and trips for bloggers out to drilling platforms at sea.
The intended audience is elected officials and the public, with an emphasis on the latter. The industry is trying to convince voters — who, in turn, will make the case to their members of Congress — that rising energy prices are not the producers’ fault and that government efforts to punish the industry, especially with higher taxes, would only make pricing problems worse.
“We decided that if we didn’t do something to help people understand the basics of our industry, we’d be on the losing end as far as the eye could see,” said Red Cavaney, the institute’s president.
Despite the efforts, Democratic congressional leaders this week again (earlier in May, 2008) proposed an energy plan that would strip oil companies of billions of dollars of tax breaks and impose a tax on windfall profits. Also, the Democratic presidential candidates routinely pronounce “big oil” as if it were a one-word epithet, said former Oklahoma Sen. Don Nickles, an energy lobbyist.
Still, the oil lobby thinks that it has made significant progress with consumers and will make even more as it continues to spend heavily on public relations. Allied industry groups such as coal and natural gas are also increasing their efforts to curry favor with the public.
The campaign has stirred outrage among consumer groups. They complain that the industry is using its outlandish profits to make even more money and that its advertisements use statistics selectively.
“It’s basically deceptive advertising that dulls the natural and proper reaction of the public,” said Mark Cooper, research director of the Consumer Federation of America.
Full story here. Too bad that Scott McClellan just sucker-punched the wind out of the entire PR-industry, eh?!
Thank goodness GG is only a half-hour long. One more minute of Dick Williams’ ancient culture war rattling-about would cause seizure. Someone please tell these aging Reagan-era Republicans that culture is, now more than ever, a constantly shifting sea. And right now, anyone over fifty who’s seeking to divide political waters along “culture” lines nowadays is going to end-up marooned on the clueless (and ridiculed) shores of some God-forsaken island. Heck, even McCain knows this.
NOTE TO ERIC: If any PR flack for Big Oil calls you up offering trips for bloggers to Gulf Shore oil rigs, please send Rogue. Hurricane season is coming up!