With Keystone XL delayed and almost certainly dead in its current form, the industry is a little upset. What we can expect to see over the next days and weeks and on into the election season is a relentless barrage of misinformation and outright attacks on the green movement, the President and anybody who shares the aspiration to change the wasteful and polluting energy status quo.
The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, that unquestionably objective source of information and analysis on all things oil, has already weighed in with an arrogant and facile statement. The American Petroleum Institute will not be far behind.
But op-eds and press releases are merely words and to some extent we’re all preaching to our own choirs. What’s much more serious is the millions of dollars the industry is able to throw at lobbying, advertising and buying America’s politicians. The API was able to launch its own Political Action Committee this year and we can expect that to mushroom in the coming months. And news of the Koch Brother’s abilty to outspend the entire Republican Party should also be noted.
We can expect this small victory for a cleaner energy future to be spun time and again with relentless lies about energy security, jobs and the economy. As if the oil industry was the only source of prosperity in the country. And as if the industry can externalize its costs to society, the environment and future generations forever.
We were absolutely right to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and the dirty energy lock-in it represented. But be prepared. Things are going to get ugly.