The Big Boys Are in on the Act
by Kathleen Sgamma, President on February 6, 2019 - 11:17am
A few years ago, we communicated with several craft breweries who had supported anti-fracking rallies and/or an anti-industry campaign by WildEarth Guardians (WEG). We sent polite letters and started a dialogue. Several removed their names from WEG’s anti-energy list as a result.
But the biggest one, New Belgium, persisted. The company’s marketing claims of 100% wind energy are so tightly wound up with the brand identity that corporate managers decided they have more to gain from their “greenwashing” than they’ll lose by alienating one of the West’s primary industries.
Now even the biggest brewers are in on the act. If, like me, you skipped the Super Bowl this year, you missed the Budweiser ad that touted it’s use of wind power. The ad itself, while not particularly interesting, is truthful in that there’s a disclaimer saying that wind power is just one type of energy used to brew the beer. However that didn’t stop Budweiser’s VP of Sustainability from claiming that 100% of the electricity used comes from renewable energy, a claim that is false, unless Budweiser shuts down when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
And of course, that’s the impression the commercial tries to leave with the consumer, who’s not going to read the fine print.
Likewise, what’s in the bold headlines isn’t necessarily what we’re working on here at Western Energy Alliance. Sure we’ll comment on some of the headlines regarding the nomination for the next Interior Secretary, the Green New Deal, the shutdown, and other headline grabbing stories, but we’re really focused on the policies that are going to ultimately matter in the field.
From detailed mitigation policies to methane rules and sage grouse plans to the difficulties with the new bonding policy, Western Energy Alliance’s advocacy is focused on the fine-print details that have implications in your operations.
It’s kind of the flip side of Budweiser, which actually gets 11% of its energy from renewables. We may spend 11% of our time-grabbing headlines and getting industry’s story in the press, but the majority of our focus is on the nitty gritty details that actually matter most.