Oil lobby photoshops minorities into stock photos to add diversity to its anti-clean energy pamphlet

This is a cross post from Think Progress’s Lee Fang.  Rachel Maddow’s take on this is above.

In August, The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson noted that the coal industry had contracted a PR firm to promote its “FACES of Coal” campaign. To attack clean energy reform, the campaign featured pictures of seemingly normal individuals opposed to cap and trade legislation. However, the Appalachian Voices’ Front Porch blog revealed that the “FACES” of the coal campaign were actually stock images purchased from

The oil industry, under the umbrella lobbying group American Petroleum Institute (API), is copying that strategy.

In a newly-released pamphlet, API fear-mongers that “hard working Americans,” like ordinary “valets,” “painters,” “day care providers,” and “rocket scientists,” will lose their job and be “hurt” by clean energy reform. To show the great diversity of those affected by the legislation, API decided to buy a stock image also from Apparently, the stock image was insufficient for API’s purposes. Upon close examination, it’s clear API photoshopped two of the people to turn them into minorities. One of the minorities, the individual on the left, is poorly photoshopped though “” his face is brown, yet his hands are still white:

The original iStockPhoto:

The edited, API version (click here to view the pamphlet):


The PR firm representing the oil lobby, Edelman, clearly did a shoddy job in creating this marketing effort. But this pamphlet reveals a fundamental truth that the oil industry is paying lobbyists to literally manufacture support. (HT: Astrotruth)

2 Responses to Oil lobby photoshops minorities into stock photos to add diversity to its anti-clean energy pamphlet

  1. John says:

    It’s also great that the original men are twins…or the same person. Same belt, shoes, tie (different colors), hair, smile. and then they photoshopped the twins.

  2. Windguy says:

    It’s a big conspiracy! The oil lobby originally took the photo and those two guys were originally black and Asian. It’s those Alarmists and Michael Mann’s secret socialist political group who photoshopped those two guys to make them look white, and then sent the photo back in time to istock photos just to make the oil lobby group look bad!