Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Fake Grassroots Group Launched by Natural Gas Industry to Counter Pipeline Protests

Energy
FracTracker

The American Gas Association, a major trade group representing some of the nation's largest natural gas companies and utilities, has launched a new front-group called Your Energy America aimed at promoting natural gas and pipeline infrastructure, all while casting fossil fuel opponents as "anti-energy extremists."


"As the name implies, Your Energy paints itself as a grassroots organization, something akin to the Sierra Club or the American Civil Liberties Union, but for folks who support natural gas," Huffington Post reporter Alexander C. Kaufman writes.

But Kaufman notes, "The only indication that Your Energy is a public relations campaign paid for by a major industry association appears on the privacy policy page."

The organization's about section states: "Your Energy was created to speak out against a misguided movement that assaults our way of life. This movement is based on the simplistic belief that keeping our natural resources in the ground is the only solution to climate change. This isn't just false—it's dangerous to our quality of life, economy and energy security."

Notably, the group's Virginia chapter quietly debuted last month ahead of the state's governor's race, which is considered by local publications as a "pipeline referendum" over the highly contested Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.

Environmental groups worry about the proposed paths of the two fracked-gas pipelines, which would cross through pristine areas of Virginia, taking private property by use of eminent domain, removing mountaintops and threatening valuable drinking water resources.

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, in particular, is owned by utility Dominion Energy, the state's largest energy company and the largest corporate donor to state candidates.

Dominion has been a member of the American Gas Association since at least 2009. The American Gas Association declined HuffPost's request to describe what role the utility may be playing in Your Energy, and a spokesman for Dominion did not return the website's call for comment.

Besides Virginia, Your Energy already has an active website for Connecticut and registered domain names for Ohio and New Jersey.

American Gas Association president and chief executive Dave McCurdy said the effort will expand to more states, including the West Coast.

"The whole principle behind Your Energy is that we reject the false choice of an opposition movement that believes keeping natural resources in the ground is the only solution to climate change," McCurdy explained to HuffPost. "That's not just a false choice; it's a dangerous choice."

But Jesse Coleman, a researcher on fracking politics for Greenpeace USA, criticized the rhetoric coming from Your Energy.

"It's crucial for the companies behind these front groups to portray normal community activism as somehow abhorrent or portray it as something other than what it is," Coleman told HuffPost. "You can't really win when your opposition just wants to keep their kids healthy, so you have to make them into some sort of bogeyman."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

As we continue to grapple with the issues of overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change, there exists an opportunity to address these existential threats with new innovations. Sawitree Pamee / EyeEm

By Kaya Bulbul

The ocean is our lifeline - we rely on it for the food we eat, the air we breathe, as well as for millions for jobs worldwide.

As we continue to grapple with the issues of overfishing, plastic pollution, and climate change, there exists an opportunity to address these existential threats with new innovations, many of which unidentified or insufficiently supported.

Read More Show Less
The coronavirus adds a new wrinkle to the debate over the practice of eminent domain as companies continue to work through the pandemic, vexing landowners. Patrick J. Endres / Getty Images

By Jeremy Deaton

Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is cutting a 400-mile line across the middle of Texas, digging up vast swaths of private land for its planned Permian Highway Pipeline. The project is ceaseless, continuing through the coronavirus pandemic. Landowner Heath Frantzen said that dozens of workers have showed up to his ranch in Fredericksburg, even as public health officials urged people to stay at home.

Read More Show Less
Weeds dying in a soybean field impacted by dicamba spraying. JJ Gouin / iStock / Getty Images

A federal court overturned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) approval of dicamba Wednesday, meaning the controversial herbicide can no longer be sprayed in the U.S.

Read More Show Less
Smoke rises from a cement factory in Castleton in the High Peak district of Derbyshire, England. john finney photography / Moment / Getty Images

Human activity has pushed atmospheric carbon dioxide to higher levels today than they have been at any other point in the last 23-million-years, potentially posing unprecedented disruptions in ecosystems across the planet, new research suggests.

Read More Show Less
People march along Hiawatha Avenue on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to protest the killing of George Floyd. Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

By Ilana Cohen, Evelyn Nieves, Judy Fahys, Marianne Lavelle, James Bruggers

When New York Communities for Change helped lead a demonstration of 500 on Monday in Brooklyn to protest George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, the grassroots group's activism spoke to a long-standing link between police violence against African Americans and environmental justice.

Read More Show Less
A helicopter view of a diesel fuel spill in Siberia on June 2, 2020. Andrei Marmyshev\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared an emergency after 20,000 tons of diesel fuel spilled into a river in the Arctic Circle.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The sun shines over the Southern Ocean in Antarctica. Rebecca Yale / Moment / Getty Images Plus

Atmospheric researchers have pinpointed the spot on Earth with the cleanest air. It's not in the midst of a remote jungle, nor on a deserted tropical island. Instead, the cleanest air in the world is in the air above the frigid Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less