Inside the misinformation campaign targeting Texas’ energy industry


You might have seen a questionable new study in the New York Times raising concerns about methane emissions and several Texas-based companies in the energy industry. While it’s important to ensure that industry stakeholders address environmental concerns – and the energy industry has fundamentally transformed itself over the last decade to do just that – it’s equally important to understand where these attacks are originating and what these critics’ true motivations are.

The group behind these recent largely unsubstantiated claims is an organization called Ceres, a nonprofit that bills itself as working to “build a just and sustainable future.” In reality, it appears to be nothing more than a front group working to kill jobs and destroy an entire industry deemed objectionable by the left. In fact, two of its board members – and the primary voices behind the current conversation – are far-left New York politicians Scott Stringer and Thomas DiNapoli.

Stringer is New York City’s comptroller and is currently running in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor. His campaign has floundered in part because of serious and credible sexual assault accusations. While many of his supporters have deserted him, the self-righteous liberals at Ceres have had no problem keeping him on their board.

DiNapoli, New York State’s comptroller, is also working overtime to impose liberal values on Texas companies and consumers. In all likelihood, these two signed up with Ceres in a desperate attempt to score points with liberal extremists like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to position themselves as change agents working to will the Green New Deal into existence.

Stringer, in particular, is eager to burnish his credentials with this crowd because, as comptroller, he (rightfully) refused calls to divest from companies involved in financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Liberal icon Gloria Steinem, of all people, attacked Stringer for his position. No wonder, then, that he is working overtime to attack energy companies, redeem himself in the eyes of the radical left and, if nothing else, demonstrate his almost preternatural hypocrisy.

Texans tend not to take kindly to out-of-state liberals telling us how to live our lives. And for good reason. We have a pretty good sense of how to grow and sustain our economy. Just ask all the California and New York expats renting U-Hauls and heading our way.

During the winter’s severe power outages, Texas’ oil and gas producers were the unsung heroes, working overtime to provide critical energy resources to consumers that were already under siege from a national pandemic. Yet if liberal, out-of-state environmentalists had their way and shut down local energy producers, we would be dealing with more blackouts and a significant reduction in our energy security.

Let’s also not forget that these companies provide hundreds of thousands of local jobs. If Stringer and DiNapoli have their way, the result would be a devastating hit to a rapidly recovering economy — a comeback being driven largely by our energy industry. They’re doing enough damage to the New York economy and don’t need to drag Texas down with it.

Look, I get it. It’s easy for liberals to score political points by arguing that energy companies aren’t doing enough to improve the environment. After all, making wild claims and pushing them with friendly reporters has been a part of the environmental left’s playbook for decades. But we need to be clear about the consequences of their words: fewer jobs, more blackouts, and politicians continuing to get a free pass for talking out of both sides of their mouths. And I think we can all agree that that isn’t good for anyone. It certainly isn’t good for the state of Texas.

Matt Mackowiak is an Austin and Washington, D.C.-based political and communications consultant and president of Potomac Strategy Group. He has served in senior roles for two U.S. Senators and a Governor, in the Bush White House and in the Bush administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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