Oil and natural gas companies and associated businesses participate in many trade associations. Here’s what makes Western Energy Alliance unique:
The oil and natural gas industry has a ton of trade associations. There’s at least one, often multiple, trade associations for each producing state; trade associations for each sector; those representing large companies and those representing independents; and trades associations that focus on national issues down to local issues. That makes sense, since we’re a highly complex industry and there are many levels of government and agencies with their fingers in the pie. No one trade association can handle it all, even the biggest.
Given that association environment, every day I’m focused on the unique contribution Western Energy Alliance provides. I’m constantly thinking about how we can move the needle in a way that adds value but doesn’t duplicate other trades. I’d like to share my top three list of differentiators.
The Alliance engages in federal legislative, public lands, environmental, regulatory, wildlife, and tribal issues from a western regional perspective. We’re the voice of the industry in the West. We regularly appear before Congress to bring that regional voice to D.C., and work with local, state, and federal policymakers throughout the region to amplify the voice of our industry.
An astounding 15 members of Congress participated and asked questions during that hearing, an unheard of number for a congressional event short of a Supreme Court nomination or hearing on other very high profile or controversial topics.
Legal Defense Fund (LDF)
We have a very robust LDF that is unique for the industry. No other similarly sized organization has the robust legal strategy that the Alliance has built up over a decade. Our legal defense fund has enabled us to defend the entire federal leasing system, both via direct intervention in legal challenges to nearly every lease issued since 2015 but also to the Biden ban on leasing. We’ve stopped several rules that slowed permitting and regulated fracking and methane inappropriately.
Finally, we engage in what I dub “guerrilla communications.” I can’t tell you how many times people suggest that industry needs to do a better job educating the public about our industry. I wholeheartedly agree, but we have never been funded anywhere near the multi-hundreds of millions of dollars it would take to move the public opinion needle.
Therefore, we focus on small-scale efforts to support our policy initiatives and engage on social media. Our full-page ad in the New York Times signed by 54 executives resulted in the presidential candidates backing off rhetoric calling us criminals; our Fossil Fuel Free challenge educated about how modern life can’t exist without oil and natural gas; and our #ParksinWreck campaign helped pass the Great American Outdoors Act.
At the Alliance, we’re always doing a lot with limited resources. Thank you to our members for making that work possible.