From the Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. oil industry is for the first time making a direct political pitch to its employees and others, borrowing from traditional union tactics in a bid to secure a friendlier environment in Washington. …
Companies tend to shy away from such direct involvement in elections because they worry about a backlash from lawmakers and employees.
The industry's campaign is focused on the roughly nine million Americans whose jobs are tied to the oil and natural-gas industry, from drillers to truck drivers to low-skilled workers who help build pipelines. The goal is to persuade a majority of Americans to support expanded oil drilling, hydraulic fracturing and pipeline construction, including the Keystone XL Pipeline.
"We realized that we are sitting on a vast resource of employees who can register their views," said Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's Washington trade association and organizer of the effort.
"A vast resource of employees," many of whom have mouths and can vote! Nice observation there, Jack.
As noted in the first paragraph, this isn't new, really. For decades -- well more than a century, really -- employers have worked to impress their views about unions upon employees. Holding mandatory meetings and passing out literature about how much better the workplace would be without workers having a voice on the job are a long-standing scourge to the labor movement. And now, the oil industry suddenly realizes, the same idea can be applied to politics.