Oil and gas vs. EVs—-the fight is growing

The fight between the oil and gas industry and the electric car industry is growing.

As POLITICO’s Morning Energy Report indicated on Monday, oil-backed groups are countering utilities’ plans to expand electric vehicle infrastructure with regulatory and lobbying campaigns against the proposals in at least 10 states so far, Pro’s Gavin Bade reports. The efforts, some greens say, is reminiscent of the “Who Killed the Electric Car?” battles that doomed an earlier generation of battery-driven vehicles in the 1990s.

The counterattack involves an array of trade associations and industry-funded political groups representing every segment of the petroleum sector, Gavin reports. For example, in the in the Midwest, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers has filed comments against charging plans in Kansas and Missouri, and in Illinois and Iowa , the American Petroleum Institute joined with the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity to oppose utilities’ electric vehicle investments.

So far, however, the oil sector hasn’t seen much success. Though AFPM celebrated a Kansas utility’s decision to withdraw a charging plan last year, analysts say that in most cases where regulators scale back utility plans, they aren’t doing it in response to the oil industry’s pleas. “So far the main consequence [of oil lobbying] I’ve seen has been some delays, but I think the fight is ongoing,” said Samantha Houston, a clean vehicles analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “I wouldn’t attribute modifications to electric vehicle programs to API, but they are certainly making a good attempt to muddy the waters in their interventions.”