As the Federal Trade Commission considers updates to its Green Guides – which governs environmental marketing claims – environmentalists are leading a campaign aimed at influencing the FTC to set policy discouraging companies from using the term “natural gas” in marketing, arguing it inaccurately casts the substance as a clean, green source of energy.
Energy industry advocates have called this campaign “Orwellian.”
Bracewell’s Scott Segal told Bloomberg, “The appropriate way to balance debates about the environmental impacts of natural gas ‘is not to hijack the discussion with made-up terms.’”
“Attempting to change the name of a long-used commodity to suit political tastes of the day seems to be the complete opposite of FTC’s mission,” said Segal. “It makes the discussion more opaque and less accessible to the general public.”
The phrase “natural gas” was adopted in the 1820s to distinguish the product from manufactured gas produced by burning coal and oil. It is a naturally occurring substance, often formed underground from decomposed plants, animals and other organic material.