I would not blame Post readers for being confused. Two articles on the Trump administration’s ill-considered plan to roll back vehicle fuel-efficiency standards quoted Thomas J. Pyle, who applauded the administration for “doing the right thing.” One news article, “White House says freezing fuel-efficiency standards will reduce costs, deaths” [Aug. 2], identified Pyle as president of the “conservative” Institute for Energy Research. The Aug. 3 front-page article “Trump targets rules on fuel” identified him as president of the “free-market” American Energy Alliance.
In fact, they are essentially one and the same. The American Energy Alliance is the lobbying arm of the institute, and Pyle is president of both. Besides the need for that clarification, characterizing Pyle’s groups as “conservative” and “free-market” failed to inform readers why they support the rollback: They are mouthpieces for the oil and gas industry.
Pyle is a former lobbyist for Koch Industries and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, and his two groups are heavily funded by Charles and David Koch, who own oil refineries in Alaska, Minnesota and Texas, as well as thousands of miles of pipelines. Koch foundations gave the American Energy Alliance and the Institute for Energy Research $6.4 million between 2014 and 2016, and in past years, the Institute for Energy Research could count the American Petroleum Institute and ExxonMobil among its benefactors.
As The Post says, “Democracy dies in darkness.” So it should give readers the information they need.
Elliott Negin, Washington
The writer is a senior writer for the
Union of Concerned Scientists.