A month before the U.S. presidential election, the oil industry’s most powerful lobbying group, the American Petroleum Institute (API), is launching ads in a number of swing states, saying in one ad that “extreme environmental proposals” like a ban on new leases on federal land – a proposal of Joe Biden – could cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their jobs.
According to Axios, the ad is part of several 30-minute spots that the API is launching in key swing states, including Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, Minnesota, and North Carolina.
The ads are not discussing directly either the election or candidates by name, but the message is pro-oil, and against proposals to restrict drilling for natural gas and oil.
President Donald Trump has been supportive of the oil industry since day one, with perhaps the exception of the extension of the coastal drilling ban, while Democratic candidate Joe Biden has promised to immediately ban new fracking on federal lands if he wins next month’s election.
In New Mexico, where more than half of the drilling activity occurs on federal land, oil workers fear that they might lose their jobs, while oil companies are rushing to secure drilling permits on federal lands ahead of the presidential election.
API and the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA) released last month a new analysis warning that New Mexico would be among the states hardest hit by the proposal to ban federal land leases. New Mexico would lose over 62,000 jobs by 2022, according to the analysis.
In August, API published a poll which found that two-thirds of voters in key battleground and other states would be more likely to vote for candidates who support access to natural gas and oil produced in the United States, including 60 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania and 68 percent of voters in Ohio. The poll, conducted by Morning Consult, also showed that 93 percent of more than 8,600 registered voters in swing states find that it is important for the U.S. to produce enough energy to avoid being dependent on other countries.