‘The obstruction we’re seeing from activist groups is costing our members jobs and the entire country opportunities…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) “Keep It In the Ground” is an environmentalist-fueled protest movement aimed at stopping fossil fuel development.
And in many ways, it’s been a successful one.
But a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute (GEI) finds that the movement, known by the acronym KIITG, has also been successful in damaging the economy.
GEI detailed the findings in a press release.
The report, titled, “Infrastructure Lost: Why America Cannot Afford to ‘Keep It In the Ground’ focuses on a number of environmental infrastructure projects and attempts to quantify dollars lost through the actions of protesters.
Remarkably, the report found that the movement has prevented almost $100 billion in domestic economic activity, while eliminating over 700,000 jobs and denying governments more than $20 billion in tax revenue.
KIITG activists are known for using “civil disobedience” to stop energy infrastructure projects. They do this through litigation, mass protests, and even acts of flagrant vandalism. Even if they don’t succeed in stopping a project, they make proceeding with it a long and arduous process … and it’s taken a real toll on the energy industry.
Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Global Energy Institute, said: “The anti-energy movement’s opposition to vital energy infrastructure comes with a real cost: lost job opportunities and billions in prevented domestic economic activity.”
Harbert pointed to the United States’ status as a new “global energy superpower” which has created additional infrastructure demands, which unfortunately have targeted by activists.
“[A] small but vocal group of activists is waging fights against these projects around the nation,” she continued. “Our new report demonstrates just how damaging that is to families, consumers, and American workers.”
The report focused on 15 projects, which included pipelines, transmission lines, and power plants, among others. All of them were either cancelled or delayed by KIITG-related activity. Overall, the almost $92 billion lost is larger than the entire economies of twelve states.
A union president said actions by the protest movement are harming workers. Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborer’s International Union of North America (LIUNA), issued this statement:
“This new analysis by the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute underscores the economic damages being shouldered by the hard-working men and women who build our nation’s energy infrastructure … the obstruction we’re seeing from activist groups is costing our members jobs and the entire country opportunities.”
The report states that the KIITG movement represents a sharp shift in philosophy from environmentalists of old who sought to grow the energy sector while doing so in a clean and safe manner, to extremists who demand the complete elimination of natural gas, oil and coal production.
Alarmingly, the views of KIITG aren’t confined to a small but devastatingly effective group of environmental mercenaries.
In 2016, a major political party attempted to enshrine the KIITG philosophy into its official platform.
A plank that would ban fossil fuel extraction on federal lands failed by just one vote at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Read the full report and methodology here.