The Alaska Oil and Gas Association, whose member companies include ExxonMobil and BP, mailed 6,300 pamphlets containing information about science experiments to 16 elementary schools in Palmer and Wasilla in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District.
“In my mind, I saw nothing political about it,” she said, adding that the district accepts information from a wide variety of organizations. “These are things that are useful to families and have some educational value.”
To learn how to conduct the science experiments, students are directed to visit a website, brainiAK.com. The website was recently featured in a radio ad from AOGA defending the state tax credits that the Walker administration is considering reducing.
Kara Moriarty, AOGA president and a registered lobbyist, said the brainiAK.com site is factual, with information collected from third-party sources like state agencies and consultants such as the McDowell Group and Enalytica, which provides oil and gas advice to the Alaska Legislature.
The site was designed last spring to educate the public about the oil and gas industry, she said. If the organization had sought to spread a political message, it would have directed people to the AOGA website.