Energy4US

Energy4US

Background

Energy4US.org describes itself as a “coalition of consumers, businesses and workers united in the belief that energy empowers us, allows us choices and improves our quality of life.” [1]

Energy4US appears to have grown out of a campaign titled “Secure Our Fuels” organized by The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), an industry PR group closely tied with HBW Resources, a lobbying and public affairs firm with historic ties to Alberta tar sands and proponent of the Keystone KL Pipeline. Known funders of CEA include industry groups the American Petroleum Institute (API), the American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), while members include petroleum giants BPExxonMobilShell, and Chevron, among others.

Energy4US lists its own members as including prominent trade groups and oil and energy industry advocates such as American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC). [2]

According to their website, Energy4US focuses on an anti-regulatory stance with relations to vehicles: “Consumers, workers, families, and businesses should have the right to choose what cars to drive and what fuels to use. We should be able to decide what works best for us, not the government.” [3]

    Stance on Climate Change

    According to their “What We Believe” section, Energy4US opposes a carbon tax, renewable fuel mandates, and other forms of government regulations: [3]

    “Whether it is a carbon tax, a mandate on consumers to use a particular fuel, or some other way to limit or take away consumer choice, government efforts to make energy decisions for consumers are usually expensive, impair reliability, have few (if any) benefits, are complicated, and create unnecessary bureaucracies.”

    Ties to Other Industry Groups

    According to the Internet Archive, as of 2015 the Consumer Energy Alliance's former website SecureOurFuels.org redirected to Energy4US.org (Secureourfuels.org is now owned by an industrial supply company).

    Internet Archive Redirect

    The first and second blog posts at the Energy4US website reaffirm that Energy4US.org grew from CEA's SecureOurFuels campaign. [4], [5]

    Before SecureOurFuels (SOF) began redirecting to the Energy4US website in 2015, contact information at the SOF website listed names of CEA staff members Casey O’Shea, Michael Whatley and David Holt. Michael Whatley and David Holt are two of the three founders and partners listed at HBW Resources. [6]

    The Energy4Us.org website features CEA vice president Michael Whatley’s work on low carbon fuel standards repeatedly. Referring to Whatley as a “leading low-carbon fuel expert,” the website also features Whatley’s talking points on its “Gettin’ the facts out” page. [7], [8]

    American Fuel & Petrochemical Alliance (AFPM)

    According to old WHOIS website registration information, Energy4US was formerly registered to Victor Adams, head of websites and marketing at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). Other deviations of energy4us.com and .org were also registered to Victor Adams. [9], [10]

    American Petroleum Institute (API)

    Paul Hartman, a senior policy advisor at API, introduced himself as “Coalition Advisor to Energy4US” in an email to a Rhode Island building and trade group. In the email, published at RI Future.org, Hartman described how “a few comments on Facebook” were suggesting that “Energy4US is 'only a big Oil' entity'.”[10], [11]

    According to LinkedIn, Hartman was Regional Director of State Affairs at America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) when he sent the email in June 2016. ANGA later merged with API in December 2016. Hartman never listed his connection to Energy4US on his public LinkedIn, however confirmed in an email to RI Future that he had “recently come on board as the Coalition Advisor.” [12], [11]

    Funding

    Below are funding details for the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), the group that appears to be behind the Energy4US campaign. CEA's known donors include the American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API), according to publicly available tax forms and data collected by the Conservative Transparency project. [13]

    American Natural Gas Alliance (Subtotal $194,500)
    2010 $15,000
    2011 $158,000
    2013 $6,500
    2014 $15,000
    American Petroleum Institute (Subtotal $332,500)
    2008 $30,000
    2009 $67,500
    2010 $35,000
    2011 $50,000
    2012 $100,000
    2013 $50,000
    Grand Total $527,000

    990 Forms

    990 forms for the Consumer Energy Alliance below:

    Key People

    Before SecureOurFuels (SOF) began redirecting to the Energy4US website in 2015, contact information at the SOF website listed the following names: [6]

    Press contacts:
    Chris Tucker: [email protected]
    Travis Windle: [email protected]

    Coalitions contact:
    Kristin Marcell: [email protected]

    Policy contacts:
    Michael Whatley: MW[email protected]
    David Holt: DH[email protected]

    Actions

    August 3, 2018

    Energy4US organized a Facebook campaign to rally against Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. “The Obama mileage rules will add $3,000 to the cost of your new car. Tell Washington to FIX the Obama MILEAGE RULES,” the ad reads, linking to an online petition. [14], [15]

    According to Facebook's archive of ads with political content, Energy4US sponsored a series of similar ads opposing CAFE standards since early August 2018. One example below:

    Related Organizations

    Coalition Members

    Energy4US includes a range of industry trade groups and associations, a number of which advocate on behalf of the petroleum industry: [2]

    • American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
    • American Highway Users Alliance
    • Association of Union Constructors
    • Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire
    • Chicago Cook County Building Trades
    • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
    • Connecticut Association of Community Pharmacies
    • Connecticut Business and Industry Association
    • Connecticut Energy Marketers Association
    • Connecticut Food Association
    • Connecticut State Building Trades and Construction Council
    • Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
    • Illinois Manufacturers Association
    • Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York (IOGANY)
    • Iron Workers District Council of Chicago and Vicinity
    • Iron Workers District Council of New England
    • Iron Workers District Council of New York State
    • Iron Workers District Council of Northern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and Northern West Virginia
    • Iron Workers District Council of Philadelphia and Vicinity
    • Iron Workers District Council of Southern Ohio and Vicinity
    • Iron Workers District Council of the Southeastern States
    • Iron Workers Management Progressive Action Trust
    • Iron Workers’ District Council of the Mid-Atlantic States
    • Laborers’ District Council of Connecticut
    • Laborers’ District Council of Eastern New York
    • Laborer’s District Council of Massachusetts and Northern New England
    • Laborers’ District Council of Rhode Island
    • Laborer’s District Council of Upstate New York
    • Manufacturers Association of Maine
    • Massachusetts Building Trades Council
    • Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce
    • Morris County Chamber of Commerce
    • Motor Transport Association of Connecticut
    • National Association of Neighborhoods
    • National Black Chamber of Commerce
    • National Federation of Independent Businesses – New York
    • National Sheriff’s Association
    • New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council
    • New York Business Council
    • New York State Building and Construction Trades Council
    • Office of the Sheriff City and County of Philadelphia
    • Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
    • Recreational Fishing Alliance
    • Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council
    • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
    • Teamsters Joint Council 28 (Washington State)
    • Teamsters Local 633 (New Hampshire)
    • Teamsters Local 639 (Washington, DC)
    • Teamsters Local 763 (Washington State)
    • Teamsters Local 671 (Connecticut)
    • Teamsters Local 959 (Alaska)
    • Vermont Chamber of Commerce

    Contact & Address

    Energy4US lists their address as follows: [1]

    ENERGY4US.ORG
    P. O. BOX 15541
    FERNANDINA BEACH, FL 32035

    The above address appears to be listed for Mike Collins PR, the company that co-runs the website with Ampersand Digital. [16], [17]

    Social Media

    Resources

    1. Homepage, Energy4Us.org. Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/RByPc

    2. WHO WE ARE,”  Energy4Us.org. Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/Y2FHG

    3. WHAT WE BELIEVE,” Energy4US. Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ZD7Qo

    4. WELCOME TO SECURE OUR FUELS,” Energy4US. Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/ytNDF

    5. NEW CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO EDUCATE PUBLIC ON NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF A NATIONWIDE LOW CARBON FUEL STANDARD (LCFS),” Energy4US. Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/nrJn1

    6. Contact,” SecureOurFuels.org. December 26, 2009. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/kNM4p

    7. CEA VICE PRESIDENT MICHAEL WHATLEY: AN LCFS IS THE WRONG CHOICE FOR NORTHEAST/MID-ATLANTIC CONSUMERS,” Energy4US. Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/8nuTe

    8. GETTINTHE FACTS OUT,” Energy4US, Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/uz7b9

    9. WHOIS data via DomainTools (paid service).

    10. STAFF,American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers. Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/jtrCV

    11. Steve Ahlquist. “Unions, industry collaborate on big oil astroturfing campaign in RI,” RI Future.org, July 12, 2016. Archived November 5, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Tlnpo

    12. Paul Hartman,” LinkedIn. Accessed November 5, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

    13. Consumer Energy Alliance,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed November 2, 2018.

    14. The Obama mileage rules will add $3,000 to the cost of your new car …” Facebook post by user “Energy4US,” August 3, 2018. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

    15. Fix the Obama Mileage Standard,” p2a.co. Archived November 6, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/BjxQm

    16. Mike Collins Public Relations LLC Overview,” CorporationWiki. Accessed November 6, 2018.

    17. Energy4US & The Distillation,” Ampersand Digital, Inc. Archived November 6, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/23Ccl

    Other Resources