Shame Former Oil Lobbyist for Misleading Public about Renewable Energy

Oregon wind farm

Target: Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance

Goal: Call on oil lobbyist to abandon his deceptive attacks on renewable energy

For many Americans concerned about big oil’s attempts to dictate energy policy, Koch Industries has become a household name. So, too, should the name of Thomas Pyle, a former lobbyist for Koch Industries and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. His pro-oil loyalties continue with his role as President of the American Energy Alliance (AEA), and his misleading attacks on green energy.

The Center for Media and Democracy reminds us that the AEA has, in the past, been honest about its desire to open up the Arctic National Refuge and other sensitive areas to oil drilling. To further these goals, Pyle has written nearly identical opinion pieces in newspapers across the country, falsely labeling wind power as expensive and uncompetitive. He argues that government subsidies for wind power “distort the economy,” leading to “perverse trade-offs,” and cites studies that have been thoroughly debunked by the scientific community.

According to its current mission statement, the AEA seeks to “empower citizens with the facts.” As the group’s President, Pyle should be ashamed of the AEA’s hypocrisy and commitment to misinformation. Demand that Pyle abandon his campaign of deception about wind power and other renewable energy sources.


Dear Mr. Pyle,

The American Energy Alliance proudly touts its “independence” and “grassroots” support. To judge by the group’s mission statement, AEA exists to help average Americans lobby their government for “abundant, affordable, and reliable energy.” Although AEA is loathe to name its funders, sources have revealed AEA’s financial ties to Koch Industries and its donor network. Billionaires David and Charles Koch are known for their aggressive campaigns against renewable energy, and their support could hardly be called independent or grassroots.

Beyond the obviously biased sources of AEA’s funding, there is the matter of your personal campaign to spread misinformation about the renewable energy industry. Citing debunked studies from the AEA-affiliated Institute for Energy Research, where you also serve as President, you argue that “every American taxpayer loses” on wind power investments. You have even gone so far as to insist that hydraulic fracturing–an increasingly controversial oil and gas extraction technique–has a spotless track record “without any confirmed cases of groundwater contamination.” These claims are demonstrably false, yet you continue to repeat them.

You should truly be ashamed of your attempts to disguise big oil campaigning as objective, public education. I call on you to abandon your commitment to misinformation, and to cease spreading lies in your efforts to discredit the renewable energy industry.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Steve Wilson via Flickr

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