Oregon’s top fossil fuel lobbyists also work for leading cultural institutions, tech companies, and climate-focused nonprofits

January 22, 2024

New research by F Minus finds that some of Oregon’s top fossil fuel lobbyists are simultaneously registered to lobby on behalf of pro-climate nonprofits and cultural organizations, a disaster relief organization, and tech giants Apple, Google, and Meta, a strategy that F Minus Executive Director James Browning criticized as a form of “greenwashing.”

In Oct. 2023, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the expansion of TC Energy’s GTN Xpress Gas Pipeline that runs through Oregon and Washington—a decision opposed by U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D) and numerous environmental groups. Current clients of TC Energy’s lobbying firm Milio Capital Consulting include the Oregon Library Association and recycling company Recology.

Gas utility NW Natural, which is facing criticism for its “slow start” toward meeting the state’s goals for reducing GHG emissions, is represented by the lobbying firm NW Public Affairs. The firm’s other clients include the Wild Salmon Center, Clackamas County, Oregon Health and Science University, and Google.

The lobbying firm of Oxley & Associates represents the Western States Petroleum Association, whose advocacy in Oregon has included challenging mandates to reduce fossil fuel emissions and challenging incentives to increase sales of electric vehicles. Fossil fuels and the climate crisis are a primary cause of Oregon’s increasingly frequent and severe wildfires, yet Oxley also represents the American Red Cross – Cascades Region, which provides aid and relief to wildfire victims.

Gallatin Public Strategies represents the Williams Companies, one of the country’s largest operators of gas pipelines, including the 4,000-mile Northwest Pipeline that runs through Oregon and several western states. The firm also represents Meta, the Oregon Symphony, and the Portland Art Museum, which promotes environmental sustainability and has staged numerous exhibits focused on the climate crisis.

“Hiring a fossil fuel lobbyist is radically at odds with what these nonprofits and cultural institutions are saying about the climate crisis,” said James Browning, Executive Director of F Minus. “It’s dangerous because it lets these lobbyists greenwash their image and claim to be pro-environment. And in some cases, these fossil fuel lobbyists are actually blocking solutions to the climate problems that their nonprofit clients are trying to solve, like preserving wildlife and protecting Oregonians from wildfires.”

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