Halloween PR fight pits oil industry against Energy Department

The Energy Department (DOE) and an oil industry lobbying group are battling for the hearts and minds of Halloween trick-or-treaters and their parents.

The department this month rolled out energy-themed pumpkin-carving ideas for Halloween. Images of renewable energy, efficient light bulbs and nuclear power made the cut.

The American Petroleum Institute, a powerful trade group that represents oil and-natural-gas producers, noticed an omission from the DOE’s list and took offense.

“With colder weather creeping across the country, we think of the energy the U.S. oil and natural gas industry is providing for Americans’ lives, including heating homes and businesses,” the group said in a blog post Monday.

“So when the Energy Department blog highlighted ways to ‘energize your neighborhood’ with a series of energy-themed pumpkin stencils in time for Halloween — but didn’t include any for the sources of 62 percent of the energy Americans use — we thought maybe it was some kind of holiday trick,” the post states.

So API is offering its own pumpkin-carving patterns for download.

Their “high energy pumpkin” kit includes stencils of an oil barrel, a full fuel gauge, a natural gas-themed stencil and more.