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New Ad Counters Big Oil's Attempt to Intimidate Key Members of Congress

May 12, 2009  

The League of Conservation Voters today launched a radio ad in three key Congressional districts exposing Big Oil’s attempts to mislead the public and to scare members of Congress into voting against  comprehensive clean energy legislation. “Fattest Wallet” highlights the profit-driven motivations behind the oil industry’s staunch opposition to energy reform and calls on Americans to ignore the lies coming from the richest, dirtiest, most insidious industry in America.

“Clean energy sources like wind and solar will create millions of jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and protect the air that we breathe and the water that we drink,” said LCV President Gene Karpinski.  “Exxon and Enron lobbyists have dictated our energy policy for far too long.  Representatives Barrow, Bono-Mack and Hill must seize this chance to take it back.”

Fattest Wallet

“This is the story of the fattest wallet in the world. The fattest wallet in the world has resided in the sagging back pocket of Big Oil for years.  Then last year, Big Oil's wallet became even fatter than the fattest wallet in the world; it became the fattest wallet in the history of the world, as Big Oil made more money than any industry ever in the annals of recorded civilization.  You know how it got that way.  It got fat on your money. Unfortunately for you, Big Oil isn't satisfied.  It's spreading lies about a new clean energy act and making plans to let out the sides of the wallet so it can jam in more of your cash. Don't let it.  Call Congress at 202-225-3121 and tell lawmakers to say ‘no’ to Big Oil and ‘yes’ to the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which will mean cheaper, cleaner energy and millions of new jobs.  Brought to you by the League of Conservation Voters.”

Right now, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is debating the American Clean Energy and Security Act, and the bill will likely be put for a vote the week of May 18th.  Unfortunately, the oil industry, using a front group called the American Energy Alliance, has launched a radio blitz that distorts research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and attempts to frighten Congress and taxpayers.

Here’s what LCV has learned about the American Energy Alliance:

  • The American Energy Alliance has launched an ad campaign targeting 11 moderate Democrats on House Energy & Commerce Committee. Alex Kaplun writes that, “A conservative organization launched an advertising campaign today warning that House climate legislation will dramatically increase energy costs for consumers. The American Energy Alliance (AEA) campaign targets 11 key members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.” [Alex Kaplun, E&E, 4/29/09]
  • According to Congressional Quarterly, “The new ads say the bill will amount to “the largest tax hike in history” and could cost American families more than $3,100 a year. That figure is based on a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study that calculated the total value of emissions permits businesses would purchase under a climate change program. The author of the study has called this a misinterpretation, because the money would go back into the economy.” [CQ, 4/29/09 http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000003106503&cpage=2 ]
  • American Energy Alliance is an affiliate of the Institute for Energy Research. According to the AEA’s Web site, the organization is “an independent affiliate of the Institute for Energy Research (IER), a not-for-profit organization – founded in 1989 – that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets.” [American Energy Alliance http://www.americanenergyalliance.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=12&Itemid=34]
  • Institute for Energy Research has received $307,000 from ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil contributed $95,000 to Institute for Energy Research in 2007 in the past five years; $65,000 in 2006; $65,000 in 2005; $45,000 in 2004; and $37,000 in 2003 [ExxonSecrets <http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=115> ]

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