New Valero Ads Continue to Promote Climate Misinformation
One of the top names within Big Oil, Valero, has released its new ad campaign that claims fossils fuels are "essential for life." In the ad, a father watches his young daughter grow up using petroleum-made products that allow her to achieve her dreams and successes. Valero has a history of convincing the public we can't live without oil, stating that it's necessary for everything from bikinis and avalanche beacons to bee survival rates.
"Valero wants us to feel like it isn't just our cars, but the very lives of our children that depend on their product," said Jamie Henn, the director of Fossil Free Media. "There's an unsaid threat in these commercials: transition to clean energy and the world as you know it will cease to exist."
ValeroEnergy: Valero for Life, December 30, 2021.
Greenpeace: Uncovering polluters' offsetting scams, October 26, 2021.
Why This Matters
Fossil fuel companies have a long history of climate misinformation. Valero's narrative doesn't tell a full story, "What is especially insidious about this type of advertising is the implicit message that fossil fuels are essential to maintain our current lifestyle. This is a false narrative," states John Cook of Monash University.
In reality, companies like Valero are responsible for a large share of CO2 emissions. Plastic, a form of carbon, has a growing environmental footprint driven by coal combustion. As of 2020, plastic emissions have totaled 232 million tons of carbon dioxide. This number could exceed average emissions of coal plants as soon as 2030.
Al Jazeera: Should fossil fuel advertising be regulated?, October 20, 2021.
ENDEVR: How Oil Companies Hid the Truth About Climate Change (Documentary), November 24, 2021.
Communities Of Color Face The Biggest Brunt Of Big Oil
Valero Oil and other fossil fuel companies focus their campaigns on the survival of oil, not on the health of local communities. Lower-income communities of color often face the most severe consequences of manufacturing -- that of Big Oil included. Valero has built plants within Louisiana and Texas, including ones within Cancer Alley, the 85-mile stretch of land along the Mississippi River that is home to over 150 petrochemical (including plastic) plants.
Two-thirds of the Cancer Alley population is Black. And as a result of air pollution in the area, residents experience illness and shorter life expectancies. A Harvard study found residents age 65 and older who live close to fracking wells had a lower life expectancy than those living further from the wells.
Cleo Abram: Fracking for Clean Energy. Wait, What?, January 18, 2022.
ENDEVR: Fracking is Dangerous - The High Cost of Cheap Gas (documentary), October 11, 2020.
NBC: How Deregulated Natural Gas Flaring Is Impacting Texas, September 17, 2019.