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LCV, Defenders Action Committee Launch New TV Ad Campaign Against Heather Wilson

Contact: Jeff Gohringer, (202) 454-4573 or

June 26, 2012  

WASHINGTON – Today, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Defenders of Wildlife Action Committee launched a new $150,000 television ad campaign highlighting New Mexico Senate candidate Heather Wilson’s votes to protect MTBE producers and oil companies that used MTBE from lawsuits for contaminating the drinking water New Mexico families rely on. The ad is running on broadcast television and cable networks in the Albuquerque media market.

“Heather Wilson has voted to protect corporate polluters at the expense of New Mexico families time and again,” said Navin Nayak, LCV Senior Vice President for Campaigns. “If you want to know why corporate polluters back Heather Wilson in this race, just look at her Washington voting record.”

“The Heather Wilson-special interest equation is simple: Big Oil pollutes the water, states sue to protect their citizens, Big Oil cuts campaign checks and asks Congress to block the lawsuits and Heather Wilson says OK,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, President of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. “With Heather Wilson, the special interests always seem to come first, even when we’re talking about polluted drinking water. New Mexicans clearly deserve better than that from their next Senator.”

This ad campaign is the latest in a coalition effort from several environmental and conservation groups to defeat Wilson. Last week, LCV launched a separate television ad campaign featuring two 15-second spots highlighting Wilson’s MTBE votes and the campaign cash she took from corporate polluters who benefited from those votes. Earlier this month, the Defenders of Wildlife Action Committee launched an ad highlighting the campaign checks Wilson has received from polluting industries and her subsequent votes on their behalf.


  • Wilson voted to protect MTBE producers and oil companies that used MTBE. Wilson voted for the 2003, 2004, and 2005 Bush energy bills, which each included a provision shielding makers of MTBE from lawsuits for contaminating drinking water. The provision would also apply to oil companies that refined or sold gasoline containing MTBE.  Wilson also voted specifically against removing the MTBE liability provision from the 2005 energy bill.  [HR6, House Vote 145, 4/11/03; HR 4503, House Vote 241, 6/15/04; HR6, House Vote 129, 4/21/05; House Vote 132, 4/21/05]
  • Wilson accepted more than $60,000 from MTBE producers in years surrounding her MTBE votes. During the 2002, 2004 and 2006 election cycles, Wilson accepted $61,500 in campaign contributions from three major producers of MTBE: Exxon Mobil, Valero Energy and Lyondell Chemical.  During that time period, Wilson received $25,000 from Exxon Mobil, $32,500 from Valero Energy and $4,000 from Lyondell Chemical.  All three companies faced lawsuits for MTBE contamination. [Environmental Working Group, “Like Oil and Water”; Center for Responsive Politics; Center for Responsive Politics; Center for Responsive Politics; Bloomberg, 7/25/05]
  • Wilson received tens of thousands more from oil companies and refiners that used MTBE.  In addition to MTBE producers, Wilson received thousands of dollars from oil companies that faced lawsuits for refining or selling gasoline containing MTBE.  These companies include ChevronTexaco, which contributed $16,500 to Wilson during the 2002-2006 election cycles, and Marathon Oil, which contributed $3,000 to Wilson during that time period.  [Environmental Working Group; Center for Responsive Politics; Center for Responsive Politics]
  • EPA: MTBE is “a potential human carcinogen.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water, the available data “support the conclusion that MTBE is a potential human carcinogen at high doses.” [EPA, MTBE summary page]

View the ad here:

View the full documentation for the ad here:

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 Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters,, and Defenders of Wildlife Action Committee, 1130 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.




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