The National Petroleum Council (NPC) is an organization whose sole purpose is to provide advice to the federal government. At President Harry Truman's request, this federally chartered and privately funded advisory group was established by the Secretary of the Interior in 1946 to represent the oil and natural gas industry's views to the federal government: advising, informing, and recommending policy options. During World War II, under President Franklin Roosevelt, the federal government and the Petroleum Industry War Council worked closely together to mobilize the oil supplies that fueled the Allied victory. President Truman's goal was to continue that successful cooperation in the uncertain postwar years. Today, the NPC is chartered by the Secretary of Energy under the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, and the views represented are considerably broader than those of the oil and natural gas industry.
Council members, about 200 in number, are appointed by the Energy Secretary to assure well-balanced representation from all segments of the oil and natural gas industry, from all sections of the country, and from large and small companies. Members are also appointed from outside the oil and natural gas industry, representing related interests such as large consumers, states, Native Americans, and academic, financial, research, and public-interest organizations and institutions. The Council provides a forum for informed dialogue on issues involving energy, security, the economy, and the environment of an ever-changing world.