How Fossil Fuel Companies are Lying to You

How Fossil Fuel Companies Are Lying To You

For many years, the business of “traditional” energy has been the business of perpetuating climate change, denying the perpetuation of climate change, and refusing to mitigate the perpetuation of climate change. Oil and gas companies have assumed a ‘Big Tobacco-esque’ role in the modern discourse around the dangers of fossil fuels: rejecting the dangers, ignoring the data, and publicly downplaying their culpability as well as the presence of climate change itself. 

Over the past decade, as the fact of climate change has become impossible to deny, fossil fuel companies with the help of lobbyists and, let’s be real, members of Congress, have shifted gears. Instead of denying climate change altogether, they’re trumpeting the dangers of dramatic action and claiming to be taking ‘meaningful steps’ in ‘researching what gradual measures can be taken.’ It’s an unproductive, unhelpful, manipulative and pathetic defense mechanism designed to make them appear less culpable and less financially responsible when the bill comes due. It’s both self preservation and revisionist history. Now fossil fuel companies aren’t dumb, they know that the smoggy winds are changing and they’re publicly ‘shifting gears’ to a more sustainable model. But it’s too little, too late, and way too insincere. 

Here are just a few of the lies that the fossil fuel industry is pushing about climate change and the future of energy. 

Fossil fuels are critical to US ‘Energy Independence’ 

If this one feels absurd, that’s because it is. First of all, as a nation, in 2020, we imported around 7.86 million barrels of petroleum daily. So the idea that our fossil fuels are in any way homegrown is nonsense. (P.S. we exported about half a million less than that) You know what would assuredly be domestically produced and controlled? Yup. Renewables like wind and solar which are definitionally localized sources of clean energy. If there really is concern about independently produced power, renewables are a no brainer. 

The reason power prices are so high right now is because of renewables. 


Look, the marginal cost of a renewable generator is zero. The marginal cost of burning fossil fuels relies on the prices of those fuels which relies on the cost of obtaining those fuels. Power prices (right now) are mostly set by gas prices which are currently commodified in a way that makes sense to “the market” without actually making logical sense.  The tyranny of the global commodity market is doing irreversible damage to the planet while also costing people a lot of money. 

Renewables are not the problem. They can absolutely be the solution if enough people reject the current model, take a hard look at the prices they’re paying for their ‘traditional’ energy, and reduce the demand on that market by turning to renewables (which again, have a marginal cost of zero to generate). 

Incremental change is the safest, most financially sound way to combat climate change. 

To be fair, this is technically true if you are a 60 year old oil company exec whose chief objective is to turn the most profit possible before you die. But for the rest of us and our children, a total revolution in the way we produce and consume energy is not only the most effective way to preserve our planet, it’s also the most economically sound.

Fossil fuels are necessary to power the current energy environment, especially for businesses. 

While it may feel like major energy users are backed into a corner when it comes to power sources, companies like Catalyst Power are actively working to dismantle the current energy monopoly and give corporate energy users much more control over their energy consumption. Our Connected Microgrid offerings allow customers to have solar panels built on their property at no up-front cost and maintain a connection to the larger grid. This empowers companies to benefit from their own renewable energy production while also providing increased renewable energy to the broader grid, thereby lowering collective demand for traditional energy sources.  

Renewable energy isn’t just the future, it’s the present. Fossil fuel companies are dedicating inordinate amounts of time and resources to dissuade the public from acknowledging the increasingly apparent reality of climate change. The current status quo is not that way by nature or by necessity, it is there by bad faith design

And while the influence of fossil fuel shareholders on our energy future might be as harrowing, it’s as reversible as it is frustrating. We just have to speak truth to power hungry energy monopolists and realize that acting in our planet’s best interests is also acting in our own.