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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Mon Apr 17 2023
Oil Companies Greenwash Reputations Through the News Media
Big Oil Sponsors Dinners and Awards for California Journalists, Gets Favorable Mentions
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and big oil companies exercise their influence and power through a variety of means, from campaign spending and lobbying legislators to creating astroturf groups and sponsoring business-friendly journalistic events. As one example of their media efforts, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, WSPA President, was on the "shortlist" of nominees for the LA Times "Inspirational Women Awards” held on October 18, 2022. The WSPA was a sponsor of the awards.

Further examples abound. The WSPA sponsored a "media dinner" in Sacramento on February 28 as part of a business conference known as "BizFed Sacramento Days." Speakers at the dinner included editors and bureau chiefs from the the Sacramento Bee, the LA Times, and the Orange County Register.

And, when the Sacramento Press Club announced that the WSPA would be the "Lede Sponsor" of their Journalism Awards Reception on March 29, the press club wrote, "WSPA is dedicated to guaranteeing that every American has access to reliable energy options through socially, economically and environmentally responsible policies and regulations." That greenwashing language was lifted directly from WSPA's own public relations copy on their website.

Meanwhile, Big Oil spends millions of dollars lobbying California politicians every economic quarter and it pays off. A total of 897 oil drilling permits have been approved since the start of the year by CalGEM, the state’s oil and gas regulator.

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