February 25, 2014

Governors’ Coastal Drilling Coalition Tied to Oil Lobbying Firm, Metadata Reveals

Governors' Coastal Drilling Coalition Tied to Oil Lobbying Firm, Metadata Reveals

Since 2011, a group of governors have sought to expand coast oil and gas drilling through an organization called the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition. On Monday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) became the first Democrat to join the effort, which includes Republican governors from North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) is the current chair of the OCS Governors Coalition.

The organization claims that it is merely seeking new revenues for state governments. New revenues from oil and gas exploration “can help state and local governments fund coastal conservation and hurricane protection as well as fund other critical state services,” notes a fact-sheet on the OCS Governors Coalition website.

Though the OCS Governors Coalition website provides few details about the organization or its sponsors, Republic Report used metadata from the group to discover ties to an oil and gas lobbying firm called HBW Resources.

A letter from the group, sent on July 17, 2013 to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), was authored by “NJoubert,” according to metadata associated with the file. NJoubert is a handle used by Natalie Joubert, a vice president for policy at HBW Resources, a lobbying firm with offices throughout North America.

HBW Resources represents the National Ocean Policy Coalition, a trade group that includes ExxonMobil, Chevron, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as “270 companies among all segments of the offshore industry.” Unsurprisingly, HBW’s client is seeking to expand drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf.

The OCS Governors Coalition has not responded to a request for comment.

As Republic Report reported last week, HBW Resources also manages a fossil fuel front group called the Consumer Energy Alliance, which is largely funded by an oil refinery trade group. That organization, CEA, has orchestrated astroturf support for building the Keystone XL pipeline.