IPAMS, IER energy issues ads to target voters, conventions

As the US Democratic and Republican national conventions approach, two industry associations are planning energy-themed advertising campaigns stressing the need for more US oil and gas production.

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 20 -- As the US Democratic and Republican national conventions approach, two industry associations are planning energy-themed advertising campaigns stressing the need for more US oil and gas production.

The Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States in Denver and the Institute for Energy Research in Washington each announced campaigns directed at officials, delegates, and voters on Aug. 19. IPAMS plans to concentrate its effort during the Democratic National Convention next week in Denver, while IER's radio commercials and newspaper advertisements will run in Arkansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, and North Dakota.

"The public lands in the Intermountain West hold vast amounts of clean, domestic and affordable energy," said IPAMS Director Marc W. Smith. "Today, our region produces 25% of the nation's natural gas while [producers occupy] less than 1% of public lands. To meet America's future energy demands, we will need all forms of energy. Natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, needs to be a critical component of any national energy policy."

Western energy producers look forward to having Democrats from across the country visit the region and hope to discuss ways natural gas can contribute as delegates craft their party's platform and create an energy vision for the future, he continued.

IPAMS also has launched a web site, www.ipams.org/dnc, designed to serve as a resource for delegates seeking more information on natural gas development. The site emphasizes the small and temporary environmental impacts of gas development, the importance of gas as an electricity source backup to wind and solar power, and gas's role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Smith said.

Essential backup
"Natural gas is the silent partner to renewable energy sources, providing essential backup energy when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining," Smith said. "Also, as the cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas is a critical part of any plan to reduce [carbon dioxide] emissions," he indicated.

IER's campaign in the five states aims to educate voters on the need to produce more US energy resources and their potential role in creating jobs and improving the economy, according to the group's president, Thomas Pyle.

"Liberal activists have treated American energy like a four-letter word for decades, even though it's the key to our prosperity and our high standards of living. These individuals and organizations would have American citizens believe that their country is running out of oil and natural gas, that what does remain cannot be produced safely, and that development would only have a negligible effect on price. These assertions are patently false," Pyle declared.

"Our ads highlight the fact that America has enough onshore and offshore energy resources to meet our needs for at least another century. With 21st century technologies at our disposal, they can be developed safely for the benefit of consumers and the economy. All we need is the political will in Washington to start putting these resources to work for our families, our economy, and our national security," he said.

The two groups' announcements came as Earthworks and its Oil and Gas Accountability Project held a protest as part of its No Dirty Energy campaign in front of a Phillips 66 retailer in Denver. It said that Suncor Energy's refinery in nearby Commerce City, which supplies Denver area Phillips retailers, is one of the nation's largest consumers of bitumen from Canadian oil sands, which the protesters say contributes greatly to global climate change. "We want drivers to think before they fill their tank," said Gwen Lachelt, the campaign's director.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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