Few entities stimulate the hate and irrationality sources of a liberal like oil men. Oil men, never women, because in their minds the oil baron or oil well owner is a man with a big hat on and a giant smile. He eats children for breakfast from his giant home watching roustabouts stuff herons down his oil wells for his pleasure. He is a cross between Jerry Jones, J.R. Ewing and Col. Kurtz. Oil money is also on the other side. It wasn't always this way, and oil was not always so vilified. Some oil majors contribute to Democrats, but the big boys slide most of their cash to the GOP (Total Industry, Exxon). Oil is different though and unlike other American industries. While consumers use a majority of the product, oil is a commodity and does not have to create its market. Oil represents a source of wealth and power that is akin to the old days of land as a source of wealth outside the grasp and manipulation of the FDR created centralized USG.
The left didn't always hate oil, as oil money bankrolled many Democrats in Texas and Louisiana for decades. The problem with those politicians is that they formed the business friendly and anti-commie southern wing of the Northern GOP-Dixiecrat alliance. Parties change, and the New Left overthrew the old lords of the Democrats. The super Marxist New Left did hate oil though as oil turned from the Democrats and shifted to the right. Oil represented a concentration of private property. These foolish men were getting lucky to have bought a patch of land that they can turn into cash with the flip of a switch. The oil was usually on land held by straight, white Christian men, which is the poster demographic for evil patriarch in the new left bible. The new left had, and still has, no concept of how hard oil exploration and development is, and that the money is earned by those who risk their capital to develop an oil well. American oil is also predominantly on non-federal lands, so it is outside of the US permit claws. The oil men (and nat gas men) of 20th/21st century America are similar to the agricultural lords of antebellum America. Unlike most manufacturers, oil companies do not have to create demand, their biggest challenge is keeping good flow rates on marginal lands that are still profitable at the current price per barrel. The left bought off farmers with FDR's programs (and crop insurance), and even then, that has been a half success politically. The left can't co-opt them like they can large manufacturing or service corporations with contracts. As government grasp of business has expanded and tightened, it annoys the left the longer an industry can stay independent. This is why the left has done everything in their power to make regulations and rules tougher on oil companies. The media message is constantly anti-oil while conveniently forgetting to inform everyone that dropping production here just shifts production elsewhere as someone has to feed the US oil monster 18.5 million bpd.
It is purely politics. Oil is money independent of the consumer system due to its commodity status as we would export it if we did destroy enough domestic demand. Oil becomes independent money which will want to exert power and strength politically as money often desires. The left cannot allow a form of private property to gain that much power, and must craft a narrative. The environmental argument against oil use is pretty poetic and compelling. >sniff sniff< I care about Alaskan seals covered in oil once every 25 years, too. The problem is, if we shut down US production, we're still going to have to use oil from somewhere. The US may, in the future, ban offshore drilling, but it will still be done in Nigeria, Norway, England, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, etc. Outlawing commodities here exports the problems elsewhere, oftentimes to countries with lax or no environmental regulations. Shutting down a commodity's production in your nation while not simultaneously decreasing demand is a political move to remove the economic lifeblood of supporters of your political opponents. It is purely about power.