Prices High, Credibility Low for Oil Industry

Imperialist gas guzzlers
From a "Fun with Propaganda" graphics contest

Once again, the start of the U.S. "summer driving season" is coinciding with "record-high gas prices." The American Petroleum Institute (API) is ramping up media outreach, including bloggers for the first time. "We felt we should become more involved" in the blogosphere, explained API's Jane Van Ryan, "because there are a lot of policies and news-related items being discussed." The industry group has held three blogger teleconferences, "on subjects including energy and environment and, most recently on May 16, gasoline prices," reports Michael Bush. "Blogs the API has reached out to include The Oil Drum, Energy Outlook, and the Daily Reckoning." API's "team of seven media relations people" continues traditional media outreach, fielding "a 'huge amount of calls' from the networks, major dailies, trade press, small newspapers in 'virtually every state,' and consumers," after the latest price hike. Oil companies have their own PR campaigns, as well. Shell's president "is currently in the midst of a 50-city 'listening tour,'" and Exxon Mobil's Dave Gardner said they will "use our Op-Ed space - in national newspapers - to explain current gasoline price drivers to our customers."