F Minus is a brand new nonprofit launched in 2023 working to highlight the 1,500+ lobbyists who are playing both sides of the climate crisis. These lobbyists work for the fossil fuel industry while also working for the people, communities, schools, businesses, nonprofit organizations and others that are being harmed by the crisis.
We were given a spreadsheet with 43,000 rows including lobbyists and their clients and tasked with creating a website that presents the data in a compelling and user-friendly way. The previous iteration of this data was basically just a massive, searchable table. It required users to do the hard work of noticing conflicts of interest by tediously scanning the rows of data.
We completely redesigned the data architecture into a cross-linking database. Each client and lobbyist now has a profile that lists all of their relationships, which allows users to drill down on the complex web of overlapping lobbyists and the competing interest they represent. We built a dynamic interface that allows users to filter by state and industry and to find the companies, institutions, and municipalities they support. We color coded the fossil fuel lobbyists in red so users can immediately see the conflicting interests they support.
The launch had a big lift when The Guardian got wind of the project and launched a 3-part series highlighting the fossil fuel lobbyists who also represent companies who market themselves as pro-environment. It’s a great (and shocking) series that provides various snapshots of the larger issue F Minus is exposing:
- Big Tech vows to fight climate crisis but employs fossil fuel linked lobbyists
- ‘Double Agents’: fossil-fuel lobbyists work for US groups trying to fight climate crisis
- State Farm stopped insuring California homes due to climate risks but it shares lobbyists with big oil