Fueling U.S. Forward
Fueling U.S. Forward (FUSF) is a pro-fossil-fuel organization launched in August, 2016 and headed by former industry lobbyist and executive Charles T. Drevna. Drevna has described the group as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit business association, a designation that allows its involvement in both lobbying and political activities. , 
FUSF describes itself as a “non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the value and potential of American energy, the vast majority of which comes from fossil fuels.”  Charles Drevna has claimed that Fueling U.S. Forward will target the “real people who have the most at stake” such as low-income or minority communities. 
In February 2016, investigative journalist Peter Stone first reported in The Huffington Post that a $10 million-a-year effort had been proposed by Koch Industries board member James Mahoney and Charles Drevna. The campaign aimed “to boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government subsidies for electric vehicles.” 
Charles Drevna first spoke as President and CEO of Fueling U.S. Forward at the RedState Gathering in Denver, Colorado in August 2016, and was slated to speak again at the Energy Expectations Conference hosted by U.S. Energy in October in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but did not appear there. He was replaced on the agenda by Brendan Williams, executive director of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. , 
Koch Vs. Clean
DeSmog launched KochVsClean.com on August 14, 2016 to examine the Kochs' role in creating and funding the Fueling U.S. Forward campaign and how this group fits into the Koch-funded network of organizations seeking to undermine clean energy technologies and innovation. Koch Vs. Clean also further examines the role of key individuals and organizations backing the FUSF campaign. Learn more below:
Individuals involved in Fueling U.S. Forward
Organizations involved in Fueling U.S. Forward
- Institute for Energy Research (IER)
- American Energy Alliance (AEA)
- American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)
- Hamilton Place Strategies: The PR Firm Behind Fueling U.S. Forward
Fueling U.S. Forward & The Koch Brothers
Fueling U.S. Forward Strategy
The Fueling U.S. Forward campaign relies on arguments claiming the necessity and value of oil and natural gas. One banner image on the FUSF website boasts of “Innovation that Improves and Enriches Lives.” According to the Fueling U.S. Forward website: 
“Energy is the basis of modern life and the engine of American innovation. A diverse energy mix – including fuels like oil and natural gas – is key to ensuring Americans continue to prosper and thrive.”
Elements of the campaign echo an April advertisement run by Koch Industries in The Hill that criticized solar energy and electric vehicles. According to the Koch Industries ad, “consumers should be able to choose the energy sources that best meet their needs free from government influence.” The ad goes on to criticize subsidies for solar power and “the tax credits (up to $7,500) the government offers to consumers who purchase hybrid and electric vehicles.” According to the Koch-sponsored ad, “Such credits may seem enticing to the general public, but the reality is that 90 percent of the beneficiaries come from the top income bracket.”  See some common EV vehicle myths debunked here.
Exact funding amounts received by Fueling US Forward are unknown at this time.
When Peter Stone first revealed the Koch's then-unnamed campaign plan in February, he noted that the group “hopes to spend about $10 million dollars per year to boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government subsidies for electric vehicles, according to refining industry sources familiar with the plan.” 
“The fact that Jim Mahoney is leading the effort appears to indicate that this is being driven by the business side of Koch,” said one refining industry source. Another source said, “I think they (are) approaching all the major independent refiners.” 
The source also stressed that the new initiative is partly attributable to “electric vehicles and the subsidies for them.” “They’re worried about state and community subsidies,” they said. “In 20 years, electric vehicles could have a substantial foothold in the U.S. market.” 
March 23, 2017
The first panel, “Conversation with the C-Suite,” consists of panelists Calvin Butler, CEO, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company; Joseph Hamrock, President and CEO of NiSource; Susan Story, President and CEO of American Water); and Rudolph Wynter, President and CEO of FERC Regulated business and New Energy Solutions. 
The second FUSF-sponsored panel is titled “Women in Power,” featuring panelists Donna Cooper, President of Pepco Region; Colette D. Honorable, Commissioner of of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Rhonda J. Morris, Vice President of Human Resources at Chevron Corporation; and Morenike Miles, Vice President of Shared Services for Dominion Resources Services, Inc. 
March 8, 2017
FUSF was listed as a sponsor of the 2017 Pink Petro HERWorld Energy Forum, taking place on International Women's Day and addressing the “the energy transition, digital technology, workforce needs and opportunities, and the gender gap.” 
Sponsors of the event included Shell, Marathon Oil Corporation, Enbridge, Tesoro, Seneca Resources, the United States Energy Association, Consumer Energy Alliance, and Texas Oil & Gas Association among numerous other groups. 
February 22 - 25, 2017
January 21, 2017
FUSF awarded three African-American students at Northwest Halifax High School $1,500 in scholarships for an electrical lineman training program. Hubbel Relat, FUSF's director of outreach, said Fueling U.S. Forward was making an effort to reach minority communities, reported Dailytarheel.com. 
“Despite how important this industry is to all of our lives and our economy, the African-American communities and a lot of rural communities in general are underrepresented and left out of this industry,” Relat said. “A lot of the time they are simply not made aware of the job opportunities in the industry.” 
December 16, 2016
“About halfway through the event, the music gave way to a panel discussion on how the holidays were made possible by energy — cheap energy, like oil and gas,” Hiroko Tabuchi writes at the New York Times. She notes that the concert's flier read “Thankful for the fuels and innovation that make modern life possible.” 
Eddie Bautista, executive director of the nonprofit NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, called the campaign “an exploitative, sad and borderline racist strategy.” FUSF has targeted minorities with the notion that they would be most affected by rises in energy costs, while Bautista notes that falling costs associated with renewable energy have made a shift away from fossil fuels a winning proposition for everyone. 
The Richmond gospel concert was organized by FUSF as well as the nonprofit Reaching America and Radio One, which Tabuchi notes caters to black listeners. Four people were picked out of the crowd of 300 and told that their latest monthly electricity bills would be paid up to $250. 
August 22 - 25, 2016
Charles Drevna, working as President of Fueling US Forward, spoke at a Blacks in Government training session in Atlantic City, N.J. “He will continue to meet with a variety of groups in the coming months, he said, ticking examples off: Native Americans, inner-city residents, farmers, millennials, women and industry employees,” Climatewire reported. 
While Drevna did not speak at the event, Climatewire said “ surrogates with Project 21, an initiative by the National Center for Public Policy Research for black conservatives, helped deliver his message, according to National Policy Alliance Executive Director Linda Haithcox.” 
The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil industry and right-wing foundations, according to data from Conservative Transparency. 
August 13, 2016
Charles Drevna first announced Fueling U.S. Forward at the 2016 Red State Gathering and confirmed that the campaign is backed by Koch Industries. DeSmog's Sharon Kelly attended the event and interviewed Drevna. , 
“We need a sustainable energy to ensure the future of the country,” Mr. Drevna told the audience.
The source of that energy? That which Mr. Drevna labeled “reliable, abundant, efficient and sustainable fuels.”
“Folks, that's of course the fossil fuels,” he immediately added. 
DeSmog's Sharon Kelly reports that the top-line takeaway from Mr. Drevna's presentation was that the purpose of Fueling U.S. Forward is an effort to rebrand fossil fuels, focusing on the “positive” sides of oil, gas and coal. 
Drevna said at the Red State Gathering that “we are basically richer than ever before.” He quickly revised his statement, adding “as a world we are. As a nation we are basically richer than ever before.” 
According to Drevna, the oil industry has long “been engaged in asymmetric warfare.” He notes that “We're partnering with other organizations too, especially non-traditional allies like the minority community. Who in the heck gets hit hardest and fastest when there's an energy crisis and prices go up? They do.” 
Location & Address
According to the organization's SCC eFiling, Fueling US Forward's Address is as follows: 
2300 WILSON BLVD STE 400A
That is known as the Navy League Building, and FUSF's suite is one floor below the office of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, Inc., the Koch-funded political group whose staff and board are filled with long-time Koch Industries employees.
Peter Stone reported in February that Charles Drevna, then Senior Fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, had teamed up with James Mahoney “a confidante of the [Koch] brothers and member of their company’s board,” to develop the FUSF campaign. 
The American Energy Alliance (AEA) is the “advocacy arm” of the Institute for Energy Research, and describes itself as a “not-for-profit organization that engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies.”
Alghough Charles Drevna told DeSmog's Sharon Kelly that IER was not involved directly with Fueling U.S. Forward, it should be noted that Drevna worked on developing the campaign while he served as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at IER. Thomas Pyle, a long-time oil-industry lobbyist, serves as President of both IER and The American Energy Alliance. , 
Both James Mahoney and Charles Drevna have served in leadership capacities at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), a national trade association representing 98 percent of oil refining capacity in the United States. AFPM aggressively supports oil interests, and opposes any legislation that could reduce profits for their sector. For example, they oppose renewable fuel standards, support increasing domestic oil and gas production on public and private lands, and argue that the EPA has no authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. , , 
Hamilton Place Strategies is the PR firm chosen by Drevna (and, presumably, the Kochs) to run Fueling U.S. Forward. Hamilton Place is a policy and public affairs consulting firm that specializes in communications strategy and, as one reporter described, is run by a team that “have logged lots of hours on the front lines of spin.” 
Sharon Kelly. “New Koch-Funded Group ‘Fueling US Forward’ Aims to Promote the 'Positives' of Fossil Fuels,” Desmog, August 14, 2016.
Peter Stone. “The Kochs Are Plotting A Multimillion-Dollar Assault On Electric Vehicles,” The Huffington Post, February 19, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/jXPA4
“All For All Forms of Energy” (PDF), Koch Industries. Retrieved from Kochvsclean.com. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
“Pyle, Thomas J,” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed October 19, 2016.
“Policy Position - Increasing Domestic Oil & Gas Production,” AFPM. Archived October 11, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/SZsEw
Hiroko Tabucchi. “Sensing Gains Ahead Under Trump, the Kochs Court Minorities,” The New York Times, January 5, 2017. Archived January 9, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/abF3O
“AABE 2017 NATIONAL CONFERENCE: MAKING ENERGY WORK FOR US,” CVENT.com. Archived March 17, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/2SqGX
“2017 Theme: The Next Era of Energy: Lean In, All In, Join In,” PinkPetro HERWorld Energy Forum. Archived March 17, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/rpy9q
Camille Vargas. “Fossil fuel advocacy campaign offers scholarships to African-American students,” Dailytarheel.com, March 6, 2017. Archived April 11, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/3bjHI
“Fueling U.S. Forward,” SourceWatch.
“Instead of Supporting Trump, Here's What the Koch Brothers Are Doing With Their $750 Million,” EcoWatch, August 16, 2016.
“Koch-Funded Fueling U.S. Forward Campaign Aims to Kill the Electric Car and Squash Clean Energy,” Daily KOS, August 19, 2016.
“Koch bros want you to think fossil fuels are great for the whole family,” Grist, August 16, 2016.