Oil lobby targets consumers in new campaign

Oil lobby targets consumers in new campaign
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The oil and natural gas lobby is looking to talk directly to American consumers with a new advertising campaign on the wide-ranging uses for the industry’s products.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) launched its campaign, dubbed Power Past Impossible, with a Super Bowl commercial Sunday that the group estimates reached 110 million people.

API expects the campaign to run for years in multiple different media, and it’s not tied to the new Trump administration or other specific policy or political changes.


Its goal is to show how deeply modern life and major industries are tied to and depend on oil and natural gas.

“Power Past Impossible is the next step in API’s long-running effort to create energy awareness," API president Jack Gerard told reporters Monday.

“The Power Past Impossible campaign features a few of the countless products and technological advances made possible from natural gas and oil, from life-saving medical devices to cosmetics to drug stores, from plastics in our toys to cell phones to 3D printers,” Gerard said.

The ad shown during the Super Bowl featured paint, medical devices, space technology, sports equipment and more, all of which rely on oil or natural gas. API also launched a website as a centerpiece of the new campaign.

The message isn’t new to the oil lobby, but this is the first time that it has been featured so prominently.

The campaign comes as President Trump has already started to unwind major environmental policies that dogged the oil industry over former President Obama’s eight years, like moving toward approving major oil pipelines and an executive order pushing agencies to roll back regulations.

The industry has been very bullish on Trump and expects to find new prominence with him in office and the GOP controlling both chambers of Congress.

Gerard said that although policy and deregulation is not a major focus of the new campaign, it ties in nicely.

“Those regulatory burdens, when they’re unnecessary or duplicative, add costs that make us less competitive,” he said.

“We support appropriate regulation. We believe regulation has a role. What we need to do is fix it so it’s smart, commonsense regulation.”

Gerard repeatedly stressed the importance of speaking directly to consumers on the “awareness” of the role of oil and gas.

“While our previous campaigns focused on policymakers and elected officials, our new campaign opens a broader conversation with all Americans about the reach and magnitude of natural gas and oil, the products that come from them and their contributions to consumers’ everyday lives,” he said.