As gas prices rise and oil companies enjoy record profits, the industry is increasing its PR efforts. The American Petroleum Institute (API) hired The Hawthorn Group and Edelman's advertising practice, spending "more than $20 million over the last few months." Talking points developed by API and others include: "forces of demand have outstripped supply," especially with China's economic growth; "oil industry profits are not outsize by the standards of other major industries"; and "Western oil companies have only a limited share of the crude oil market." The industry has retained "familiar Washington figures like the former Reagan official, Michael K. Deaver, and former Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana," to gain Congressional support. PR Week reports that ExxonMobil is "discussing its Energy Outlook presentation ... with policymakers, citizen groups, and the media." Shell Oil is promoting its "Fuel Stretch Principles," which "help people improve their fuel economy," and its credit card, "which offers a 5% rebate on gas purchases."
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