Exxon Mobil spent about $2.1 million on lobbying in New York in 2012, making it the second-largest spender, according to a new report from the state’s ethics board.
Exxon cut a $2 million check for the Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York on July 1, according to the company’s most-recent filing with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The money was for a “natural gas advertising expense,” the company reported, but doesn’t offer any specifics.
IOGA, an oil-and-gas trade group, is one of the state’s most outspoken advocates of drilling and fracking for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, which has been on hold in New York for more than 4.5 years.
It wasn’t immediately clear where the $2 million was spent, and we’ve got calls into both Exxon and IOGA for further clarification.
UPDATED: The money went toward a series of full-page newspaper advertisements that ran in the latter half of 2012, according to IOGA spokesman Jim Smith. The ads (here’s an example) make the case for shale-gas drilling in New York and list a number of New York-based groups that support the message, including IOGA. Exxon is not specifically listed on any of the ads, but the company is an IOGA member.
Pro-fracking groups, meanwhile, have been critical of some environmental groups and other fracking critics who haven’t registerred to lobby in New York despite participating in rallies and protests. One of those groups, the Yoko Ono-supported Artists Against Fracking, was the subject of a recent AP piece.