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As the world moves towards cleaner energy sources, one industry group is working hard to push back against efforts to move heating away from oil and gas. The Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), which propane providers across the country fund, has spent millions of dollars on anti-electrification messaging for TV, print, and social media. Using influencers like TV stars, the group is promoting the use of propane as a heating source, even though burning fossil fuels is a significant contributor to climate change.
Source: National Geographic/Youtube
One of the influencers used by PERC is Matt Blashaw, a familiar face to fans of DIY home renovation shows. Blashaw has publicly endorsed propane heating, calling it “an energy source for everyone” and “a great energy for generations to come.” However, viewers may not know that the fossil fuel industry group is paying Blashaw to promote its message.
PERC is a federally-sanctioned trade association that is allowed to collect fees on propane sales, which helps fund its marketing campaigns. However, according to the law that created this system, that money is supposed to be used for research and safety. In 2023, the organization plans to spend $13 million on its anti-electrification campaign, including $600,000 on “influencers” like Blashaw.
The overwhelming majority of scientists around the globe agree that burning fossil fuels, like propane, produce greenhouse gases that are dangerously heating the planet. The United Nations has warned that nations must deeply and quickly cut emissions to avoid a catastrophic escalation of deadly flooding, heat waves, drought, and species extinction.
While the propane industry sees things differently, claiming that their message is one of “promot[ing] the advantages of a wide path to decarbonization,” the reality is that most American homes heated by natural gas or oil are significant contributors to Climate change. In states where the energy grid is increasingly powered by wind, solar, and other renewables, electric heat pumps quickly become a lower-carbon alternative to gas and oil.
It’s essential to be informed and make conscious choices regarding energy consumption. Before making any decisions about heating your home, be sure to research all the options available. While propane may seem like a good choice on the surface, it’s essential to consider the long-term impact on the environment and future generations.
We all are responsible for taking action against Climate change, including making conscious decisions about how we heat our homes. By choosing cleaner energy sources, we can make a real difference in reducing our carbon footprint and helping to protect the planet. So, let’s all do our part and make a conscious choice to move towards cleaner and more sustainable energy options.
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