Oregon Lobbyists Represent Conflicting Interests on Climate Change

A watchdog group has exposed 28 Oregon lobbyists who represent climate change protagonists while simultaneously espousing anti-climate change policies for various organizations. They are said to be exacerbating the thorny issue by representing both polarities of the climate change debate.

Exposing this conflict of interest is the lobbying watchdog group, F Minus, which has compiled a nationwide database of lobbyists working for both the fossil fuel industry and organizations against the burning of fossil fuels. The 28 Oregon lobbyists are among more than 1,000 registered in the state who work for more than 500 companies and organizations with conflicting interests in climate change.


Lobbying Watchdog Group Says Climate Change is a Holistic Problem

The F Minus researchers database exposes more than 1,500 lobbyists nationwide working for the fossil fuel industry while also representing anti-climate change organizations, conservation groups, local governments, and public health entities.

The watchdog group’s executive director and founder, James Browning, describes climate change as a holistic problem, with the activities of some making matters worse.

The researchers, who completed the analysis of the Oregon lobbyists in January, illustrate the volatility of the conflict of interest situation with the following examples:

One of the 28 Oregon lobbyists works for NW Natural, the state’s largest Natural Gas Utility and a heavy greenhouse gas emitter. The lobbyist also represents the Wild Salmon Center, a conservation group based in Portland that works to protect fish species that suffer from environmental impacts caused by climate change.

Lobbyists work at Oxley & Associates in Portland represent a petroleum association while advocating policies for the American Red Cross, an organization assisting people whose lives have affected by floods and large wildfires, two elements exacerbated by climate change.

Another example, according to Browning, is Kylie Grunow, a lobbyist for the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, who also works for British Petroleum (BP). Browning says while the park embodies the spirit of stewardship and responsibility, aiming to be a leader on climate change, Grunow works “for one of the most rapacious fossil fuel companies in the world.” (Grunow is a consultant and strategic advisor who communicates with key decision-makers in the private and public sectors, according to his LinkedIn profile.)


Watchdog Group Wants Ties Cut With Climate Change Protagonist Lobbyists

Browning is asking governments, non-profits and foundations to cut ties with lobbyists representing fossil fuel companies. On a recent visit to the Portland Metro Council, Browning discussed the possibility of releasing a statement that local governments should not work with fossil fuel lobbyists.


Rise in Planet Temperatures a Tipping Point for Catastrophic Events

Browning says fossil fuel companies are largely to blame for pushing the planet closer to catastrophic climate events. They are also largely responsible for the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in average global surface temperatures. This temperature is considered the tipping point for more frequent and larger climate change events.


2023 Hottest Year on Record

The hottest year on record since 1850 was recorded in 2023, according to the European Union Copernicus Climate Change Service.

An increase in the average global temperature was recorded every month for the first time in recorded history last year. However, these record-breaking global temperatures cannot be considered permanent, according to scientists at the Climate Change Service.

According to the organization’s web page, temperatures reached extremely high levels in 2023, with average daily global temperatures overtaking pre-industrial levels by more than 2°C.

The organization says “unprecedented” global temperatures recorded from June onwards led to 2023 becoming the hottest year on record. El Niño, greenhouse gas concentrations and natural variations were the main drives of 2023’s extreme temperatures.





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