With every day that goes by, we find more and more evidence that an overwhelming number of renewable energy opponents are backed by (you guessed it) the fossil fuel industry.
Today’s revelation comes from the Energy and Policy Institute (EPI), which revealed that the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), a DC-based political organization that has spent tens of thousands of dollars on anti-offshore wind ads, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel industry in the first six months of 2023 alone.
Contributors to the RSLC include Marathon Petroleum, Devon Energy, Koch Industries, and the American Petroleum Institute. Even utility companies that will benefit from offshore wind projects have funded the RSLC: Dominion Energy paid the RSLC nearly a quarter of a million dollars this year despite having plans to build an offshore wind farm off the coast of Virginia.
The RSLC’s anti-offshore wind ads, announced in July, attack New Jersey Democrats ahead of the state’s November legislative elections and promote debunked disinformation falsely blaming offshore wind for whale deaths.
EPI also uncovered fossil fuel industry ties to two other groups flooding New Jersey with anti-offshore wind ads: Fixing New Jersey Inc. and Affordable Energy for New Jersey.
As EPI points out, this is not the first time that anti-offshore wind groups have been exposed for having ties to the fossil fuel industry. Earlier this year, Fast Company revealed that many anti-offshore wind “community groups” spreading disinformation about whales are actually funded by Big Oil. Furthermore, we previously pointed out that fossil-funded anti-offshore wind think tanks like the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), the Heartland Instituteand the Caesar Rodney Institute have all supported offshore oil drilling, which actually harms whales.
The good news is that the existence of coordinated disinformation campaigns to undermine support for offshore wind indicates that offshore wind energy is a strong competitor to the fossil fuel industry. The bad news, however, is that the fossil fuel industry wouldn’t be investing in disinformation campaigns if they weren’t effective. Not only can disinformation stall renewable energy projects, it can also lead to harassment. Time previously reported that harmful conspiracy theories about offshore wind and whale deaths led whale experts to receive threats on social media.
So next time you see an ad making fishy claims about whales, just remember whose oil-stained fingerprints are all over that disinformation and start debunking!