Pro-Oil Outside Groups Spend More Than $16 Million On Energy Attack Ads Since January

A handful of outside groups, fueled by oil and coal dollars, are committing tens of millions to propel Big Oil to the forefront of the 2012 elections — outspending the Obama campaign on political energy ads by an overwhelming amount.

In the first three-and-a-half months of 2012, groups including Americans for Prosperity, American Petroleum Institute, Crossroads GPS, and American Energy Alliance have spent $16,750,000 on energy attack ads. The total amounts to more than $56 million, including the American Clean Coal Coalition’s pledge of $40 million on ads promoting coal.

According to a Think Progress analysis, there have been at least $16,750,000 worth in dirty energy ad buys since January:

American Petroleum Institute spent $4.3 million since January, reported by the Washington Post.

Crossroads GPS has spent a total $2.85 million since January, with three major ad buys. Crossroads spent $500,000 distorting the administration’s Solyndra record, $650,000 on gas prices, and $1.7 million promoting “drill, baby drill.”

American Energy Alliance bought $3.6 million of gas price ads for the “largest effort of its kind in AEA’s history.” The group is partially funded by Charles and David Koch.

Americans For Prosperity: $6 million on an ad distorting Obama’s Solyndra record, which ran in at least six states. This followed an earlier $2.4 million Solyndra ad in November, which was not included in the total count.

By comparison, the Obama campaign and his super PAC have spent at least $1.67 million defending the president’s energy record.

Other groups have pledged to spend millions more this election cycle, and will include ads focusing on promoting pro-oil and coal interests:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce has committed to spend more than $50 million this year on a range of issues. So far it has targeted several lawmakers, including Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who faced $2.5 million of ads against him for wanting to end oil subsidies. In February, it spent $200,000 ads promoting Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND) for his pro-oil stance.

American Coalition For Clean Coal Electricity: $40 million overall campaign to push coal interests to the forefront of the presidential campaign.

American Crossroads, whose donors include oil and gas executives, has a bankroll of more than $200 milllion for 2012.

Oil billionaires Charles and David Koch “plan to pump at least $100 million through their network of independent groups” which include Americans for Prosperity and the American Energy Alliance.

Ad spending this cycle has skyrocketed 1600 percent compared to the 2008 race, partly due to oil and gas’s serious money to elect a candidate committed to putting oil’s profits first.

7 Responses to Pro-Oil Outside Groups Spend More Than $16 Million On Energy Attack Ads Since January

  1. Far more than that. Check the New Yorker article about ExxonMobil and the Republican party -

    “During the first three years of Obama’s Presidency, the corporation spent more than fifty-two million dollars on lobbying in Washington, about fifty per cent more than during the Bush Presidency. Mentions the cap-and-trade bill and ExxonMobil’s support for a “carbon tax.” When Republicans took back the House in the 2010 midterm elections, ExxonMobil’s lobbyists no longer had reason to fear that Obama or congressional Democrats could upend their industry with climate or tax laws. All of the corporation’s business strategies remain oriented toward the very long run. Decades from now, oil, gas, and coal, ExxonMobil’s analysts predicted, “will continue to be the most widely used fuels.”

    Read more

  2. Simon says:

    So basically all I can get for my business is negative advertisement and smear campaigns against my competition? Does proper “moral” advertising not exists anymore in the world from any agency??

  3. John Steinsvold says:

    An Alternative to Capitalism (if the people knew about it, they would demand it)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”.
    She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider.
    Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?”
    which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

    John Steinsvold

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
    ~ Albert Einstein

  4. And here are the real enemies to the progress of modern civilization. The oil companies are behaving like Godzilla zombies. They don’t seem to care about the future, only their quarterly earnings seem important.

  5. What I want to know is how I can get these ridiculous oil company propaganda commercials off my television. I’ve been seeing them now for the better part of four years and I’m sick and tired of an endless stream of misinformation being pumped into my living room.

  6. Andy says:

    Robert Fanney: get off your fanny and quit watching TV. I’m sure there are more productive uses for your time.

    Rebecca Leber: Can you show me or point me to some of these ‘attack ads’. I’m still in the dark, besides reading your piece, as to what these ads are attacking. I refuse to link to your sources as I’ve had enough political BS. The only source I’d care to visit would be The Hill. Just give me the YouTube links. Thanks.

  7. Tom King says:

    Robert, you’re missing all the fun. The secret is to drop out of the mainstream media. A few months ago I ditched Huffingtons because they were trying to promote climate change controversy instead of the facts. And now they wander around trying to reclaim their viewers. You should cancel your cable tv and send them a letter about why. Then watch what happens. You will be surprised.