Remember last month when we laid out how Washington DC based “Power the Future” was really just another (probably) Koch brothers scheme to undermine the debate around methane waste in New Mexico? Well in the last month we’ve seen them keep up the drumbeat put forward by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) with almost Pavlovian-like responses.
Most recently, NMOGA has been saying that methane emissions are actually down in New Mexico. News flash: they aren’t. Even the Trump administration admits that climate emissions are basically flat (see chart below), and
Power the Future follows NMOGA’s lead and writes a few hundred words about the “misguided left and their proxy war” on methane using the same skewed numbers and quotes. It’s almost like they might be… working together!
Even more than that, Power the Future can’t even get their own spin right. They cite an Energy In Depth study claiming that total emissions are down 57% when EID’s study is claiming that the amount of emissions PER WELL is down 57%. Oops. That’s a big difference.
Power the Future screenshot – June 11, 2019.
Now, since Power the Future is a 501c4 there’s no way to know who’s funding them to screw up the industry’s own spin. But when we think back to NMOGA Director Ryan Flynn’s infamous 2017 speech where he called for NMOGA to become the “most powerfu organization in the state” it’s really not hard to imagine that strategy would include using third-party non-profits to boost their image and messaging. In that same speech, Flynn said We’re (NMOGA) driving public discourse; we’re driving election discussions and debates. We’re not just waiting for the dust to settle and being pushed in one direction or another.”
Sounds kinda like what Power the Future is doing right?
Power the Future and NMOGA have been able to get some of their slanted perspectives into the mainstream news lately by touting numbers from single sources like Energy In Depth, the self-described “research program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.”
But raise your hand if you think it’s a little fishy that a scientist paid by the oil and gas industry is the one saying that everything is fine.
Now, NMOGA recently tried to peddle the idea that they are a kinder, gentler industry lobby group saying they “are ready to partner on methane rules.” If that’s the case, ProgressNow New Mexico would
- NMOGA should answer whether or not they are funding Power the Future, an organization that is actively working to undermine state methane rules.
- NMOGA should stop using the age-old tactic of calling for an issue to be studied to death before taking action. There has been study after study on methane pollution in New Mexico the last five years.
The time for action is now. We need good faith actors sitting around the table and less high-paid astroturfing by the oil and gas industry.