American Petroleum Institute Launches Misleading Ad Campaign Against Grassroots-Led NY Gas Ban

March 18, 2022

One week ago, the American Petroleum Institute (API) front group, Energy Citizens, launched an ad campaign against the effort to pass a statewide ban on gas in new construction in New York.

Today, despite their national reach, 43% of the group’s current active Facebook ads are targeting New Yorkers with misleading claims on the affordability of fracked gas.

Food & Water Watch research has shown that renewable energy from wind and solar are far cheaper than energy from fossil fuels, across their lifetime.

API’s online disinformation campaign follows a similar effort last year to stop New York City from passing a gas ban.

Activists are pressuring Governor Hochul to include an immediate gas ban in her state budget, due April 1. The Governor’s current budget proposal includes a ban beginning in 2027.

 New research from RMI demonstrates that an immediate ban, starting in 2024, would save an additional 4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2040 beyond the reductions already expected from NYC’s ban — the equivalent of keeping 870,000 cars off the road for one year.

The grassroots-led campaign for a statewide ban on fossil fuels in new construction is led by the #GasFreeNY coalition, made up of Food & Water Watch, New York Communities for Change, NYPIRG, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and Earthjustice.

Groups won a critical legislative victory last year with the passage of a gas ban at the New York City level. With the recent endorsement of an immediate gas ban by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in her budget, released last Sunday, the campaign for a statewide ban is picking up critical momentum.

“New Yorkers and the legislators that represent us are rallying beyond a statewide gas ban because we know that addressing climate change must include keeping fossil fuels out of the buildings where we live, work and play,” said Food & Water Watch Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp. “Fracked gas in buildings is unhealthy for people and destructive to our climate, while all-electric buildings are cheaper, cleaner, and more energy-efficient. Governor Hochul must side with people, and tune out the industry’s well-funded front groups. It’s time to pass a statewide gas ban in New York via the state budget, and it’s up to Governor Hochul to make it happen.”

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“Governor Hochul should stand up to the oil and gas companies by enacting an immediate gas ban, which would create jobs, save people money on their bills, cut air pollution, and help defund Putin’s war machine. New York City is moving forward, which will end gas in about 2,000 new buildings per year. Now it’s time for the state: Governor Hochul should take on the likes of Exxon by enacting an immediate gas ban,” said Pete Sikora, Climate & Inequality Campaigns Director for New York Communities for Change.

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