Big Oil Outspends Alternative Energy Four To One In 2012 Campaign Ads

The fight over America's energy future is being played out in a notable way on the 2012 campaign trail, as the anti-Obama fossil fuel industry is vastly outspending alternative energy on ads in the presidential campaign, according to a New York Times analysis.

The Times reports that the fossil fuel industry--oil and gas--and its allies have spent nearly four times as much money as its competitors, almost all attacking the president, who, despite misgivings by environmentalists over his 'all-of-the-above' energy policies, is insufficiently pro-oil in their view. The report states:

"With nearly two months before Election Day on Nov. 6, estimated spending on television ads promoting coal and more oil and gas drilling or criticizing clean energy has exceeded $153 million this year, according to an analysis by The New York Times of 138 ads on energy issues broadcast this year by the presidential campaigns, political parties, energy companies, trade associations and third-party spenders.

"That tally is nearly four times the $41 million spent by clean-energy advocates, the Obama campaign and Democratic groups to defend the president’s energy record or raise concerns about global warming and air pollution."

The report is one more indication that the stakes in the presidential election are sizeable and there are differences between the major parties, in this case making gruding progress on energy issues or backsliding entirely. The report also notes that 2012's ads are a far cry from 2008, where candidates and oil companies were concerned about presenting themselves in a more pro-environmental light and viewed climate change more seriously. It says:

"The lopsided nature of the energy messages this year contrasts sharply with 2008. Back then, global warming was a top public concern, and green ads greatly outnumbered those for fossil fuels, $152 million to $109 million, according to the analysis by The Times, which looked at 184 energy-related ads."



AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld

Posted at September 14, 2012, 11:48am

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