API tries to increase industry advocacy with 'Energy Nation'

The American Petroleum Institute announced its second major campaign in as many days as it introduced Energy Nation, an advocacy program “to give the millions of members of America’s oil and gas industry an easy tool to make our voices heard in Washington, DC,” it said in a widely distributed Jan. 5 e-mail. The effort followed the introduction of API’s “Vote 4 Energy” campaign to mobilize public support for political candidates favoring increased domestic energy production at the association’s annual State of American Energy luncheon a day earlier.

“Every day, policymakers across the country debate issues that directly affect our industry, our jobs and our country’s energy and economic security,” Gerardio Ura, Energy Nation’s general membership director, said in the e-mail message. “Therefore it is vital that decision-makers hear from us—the people who work every day to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable energy across the country.”

It was not clear how Energy Nation would fit with other oil and gas associations’ already extensive advocacy programs, such as the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s Political Toolkit and Friday Fact Checks. OGJ has learned, however, that staff officials in these associations received an e-mail on Jan. 5 from API Pres. Jack N. Gerard about “Vote 4 Energy” encouraging them to join and support that campaign.

Energy Nation’s web site includes a “Vote Energy in 2012” prompt for users to register to vote and to find their polling stations in line with “Vote 4 Energy”. It also encourages those who join to sign a pledge supporting “a common-sense approach to energy in America”; to encourage coworkers, friends, and family members to join; and to attend upcoming industry events.

In addition to oil and gas industry employees, membership is open to retirees and those working for contractors and suppliers. “Together, we can fight the misperceptions and criticisms that get in the way of the work we do,” Ura said in his e-mail.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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