‘How to greenwash’: propane industry tries to rebrand fuel as renewable
(The Guardian, 25 Jan 2024) Lobbying group spent nearly $30m on ads touting the ‘clean energy’ potential of propane – and downplaying its full climate impacts.
This story is co-published with Heated
Members of a propane industry lobbying group strategized to downplay the full climate impacts of propane and market it as renewable or “clean energy”, recordings reviewed by the climate newsletter Heated and the Guardian reveal.
The Propane Education & Research Council (Perc), a US lobbying group, has spent nearly $30m over the last two years on advertisements for the fossil fuel, according to data compiled by Drilled, a multimedia reporting project focused on climate accountability. The ads often promote propane, the vast majority of which is a by-product of natural gas or crude oil refining, as a form of clean and renewable energy.
But in a public November 2022 meeting recorded by the Energy and Policy Institute, Perc board members acknowledged that that characterization was inaccurate.
“Twenty-five percent [of people consider] natural gas to be renewable, in this millennial and gen Z bucket,” an unidentified Perc board member said. “There’s a perception out there – not reality, but that’s perception. We can attach to that for propane.”