Fueling U.S. Forward Sells Minorities on the Hope of Fossil Fuel Jobs


Besides the flashy website and some social media efforts, the Fueling U.S. Forward campaign has been working on the ground to capture the “hearts and minds” of minority communities and promote the benefits of fossil fuels. We’ve been tracking their activities here on KochvsClean—activities that have included a gospel concert and scholarships to African American students. 

The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper of the University of North Carolina, has a great article this week that highlights another strategy of Fueling U.S. Forward—using the promise of jobs to bolster the image of fossil fuels in minority communities.

Reporter Camille Vargas quotes Fueling U.S. Forward spokesperson Hubbel Relat, saying of the scholarships, “The main goal was to bring a conversation about opportunity that I think a lot of students at this event didn’t realize before…This big industry exists and they actually can enter it, and it can provide a job for them.”

Relat also said:

“Despite how important this industry is to all of our lives and our economy, the African-American communities and a lot of rural communities in general are underrepresented and left out of this industry…A lot of the time they are simply not made aware of the job opportunities in the industry.”

Vargas also reported for the first time that the $1,500 scholarships were intended for an electrical lineman training program. Which, it should be noted, would serve the trainees quite well to work on an electric grid powered by clean, renewable energy. In fact, the the growth of renewable resources on the grid is creating more jobs than the the centralized fossil fuel-powered system of the past. According to North Carolina’s own Duke University, the growth of the smart grid is one of the country’s most promising potential job markets. 

Read the whole Daily Tar Heel article here.

Image: Daily Herald of Roanoake