A new organization aims to promote the men and women in the energy industry, and organizers say the purpose is two-fold.
Daniel C. Turner, executive director of Power The Future, says organization is meant to be a voice for those who work in the fossil fuel industry as well as for their communities and their way of life.
"The second part is to be a push-back and to hold accountable some of these radical environmental groups that come into small towns in America and close down coal mines, take away oil rights – and [as a result] we see jobs disappearing and communities in rural America really struggling," he tells OneNewsNow.
Turner adds that the environmental left has done a wonderful job pushing the image of energy companies being rich people in fancy suits in high-rise office buildings, when in reality Turner says energy workers are people who work long hours in difficult circumstances and in all types of weather.
"They're very smart, they're talented, they really know their craft and they're the ones who suffer when powerful voices like Tom Steyer come in with tens of millions of dollars and close a coal mine," he continues. "It's not the big businesses that struggle; it's the small folks in rural America – and they're the ones left picking up the pieces when their jobs are taken."
Steyer is a philanthropist and advanced energy advocate who found NextGen America in 2013 to "prevent climate disaster, promote prosperity, and protect the fundamental rights of every American." But Turner says people in the fossil fuel industry also care about the environment.
"They live where they work," he says. "People will point to them and say, You don't care about the Earth, you don't care about the environment – [but] of course they do."
What those in the industry don't appreciate, says Turner, are people like Steyer doing damage to their communities and jobs.