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Paid for by Big Oil Campaign Targets Members of Congress at RNC

Contact: Joshua McNeil, (202) 785-8683 or September 3, 2008  

ST. PAUL, MN – Today, a coalition of the nation’s leading environmental groups announced the launch of the Paid for by Big Oil campaign.  The campaign will serve to highlight how the Republican leadership in Congress is paid for by big oil—evidenced by their repeated opposition to clean energy and their consistent support of taxpayer subsidies for big oil companies. The campaign was unveiled as more than a dozen Members of Congress prepare to speak at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis this week.

At an event in St. Paul, Cathy Duvall of the Sierra Club and David Sandretti of the League of Conservation Voters discussed the campaign and its goals.

“The Republican leadership in Congress has spent two years blocking progress on clean energy and doling out subsidies to big oil,” Duvall said. “Now they are looking to return to Washington and call for more drilling on the industry’s behalf. It’s time for the Republican leadership to stop being paid for by big oil and start working for the American people.

The campaign will include paid and earned media efforts alongside grassroots outreach through organizers in dozens of states.  It will target key House and Senate leaders who have accepted significant contributions from oil and gas interests while voting against clean energy and in favor of massive subsidies to the oil industry.  

“The Members of Congress speaking at the Convention this week have taken more than $7 million in campaign contributions from oil companies,” Sandretti said.  “In the last two years, they have cumulatively voted against clean energy 119 times and supported taxpayer subsidies for oil companies 63 times. That’s how we know they are paid for by big oil.”

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on an energy bill addressing clean energy next week. The groups urged Members of Congress to support a clean energy future that provides Americans with real solutions to our energy crisis.

The League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund, Environment America, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and Oil Change USA are participating in the Paid for by Big Oil campaign. 

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