Lance West
Lance West

API Gets its Guy… The American Petroleum Institute has hired Lance West, who was chief of staff to Big Oil’s favorite Democratic Senator, as its top federal lobbyist.

West has been CoS to West Virginia’s Joe Manchin since 2019. He also was deputy staff director for the Senate’s Committee on Energy & Natural Resources where he handled issues ranging from energy development, parks and public lands, and water.

API CEO Mike Sommers said West’s “position on Capitol Hill placed him at the center of some of our country’s more important legislative debates."

He certainly got that right. Manchin served as the final roadblock to passage of President Biden’s landmark climate bill.

As VP-federal government relations, West will lead API’s advocacy with Congress and federal affairs. He looks forward to helping shape “a commonsense energy future that benefits all Americans.”

China Slammed for Propaganda Tour… The Council on American-Islamic Relations has condemned the Chinese Government for hosting a “propaganda tour” for more than 30 Islamic scholars/clerics to whitewash its genocide of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjing.

The Chinese escorted the pro-government scholars from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain to various “anti-terrorism” sites in Xinjiang and, in return, earned accolades from them for the campaign to root out extremism.

CAIR deputy director Ahmed Mitchell said the tour cannot erase the fact that “countless Uyghur Muslims are still missing, countless families are still divided and countless mosques have been bulldozed or shut down.”

Put in in the book… Congratulations to Elon Musk for making the Guinness World Records. His “accomplishment” is the biggest loss of a personal fortune. The Guinness people reckon that Musk has lost a cool $182B since November due to the nosedive of Tesla’s stock price.

Tesla's stock tumbled 65 percent during 2022 due to Musk’s dalliance with Twitter and the stepped-up competition in the electric vehicle market.

More woes may be heading Musk’s way. Tesla announced price cuts on its top two selling models to stimulate demand. The Model Y’s price was slashed 20 percent to $52,990 and the Model 3 tab fell 14 percent to $53,990. Both vehicles now fall under the $55K mark to trigger federal tax incentives.

Wall Street failed to applaud Tesla’s discounting as the company’s stock price fell more than three percent on Jan. 13 to $120.30 a share.

Disney Disses Peltz… In a last minute effort to head off a hostile takeover bid, Walt Disney Co. offered Trian Partners chief Nelson Peltz the role of “board observer” if he promised not to up his firm’s $900M stake in the beleaguered entertainment combine.

That’s a pretty insulting offer to a longtime corporate activist like Peltz, who wants a seat on Disney's board.

The 80-year-old currently serves as executive chairman of Wendy’s and a director at Unilever PLC and Madison Square Garden.

He has served on the boards of Procter & Gamble, Mondelez International, Sysco, Legg Mason, Ingersoll-Rand, Invesco and HJ Heinz.

The National Association of Corporate Directors in 2010, 2011 and 2012 recognized Peltz as among the most influential people in corporate governance.

Disney sure could use a person with Peltz’s background on its board. What is it afraid of?