"I Vote for Dirty Energy"
"There's nowhere to go but up!" That's the lesson Big Oil apparently took from the recent University of Texas at Austin poll showing that only 16 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way they're addressing energy issues. On Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute announced its new "Vote 4 Energy" campaign, in which they plan to spend an undisclosed [read: "massive"] amount of money to promote their dirty energy agenda and the Keystone XL pipeline. In a charming touch, API President Jack Gerard threatened President Barack Obama should he fail to greenlight the proposed pipeline, carrying tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas:
“I think it would be a huge mistake on the part of the president of the United States to deny the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,” Gerard said during the powerful oil industry trade association’s annual 'State of American Energy' event Wednesday. “Clearly, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest. A determination to decide anything less than that I believe will have huge political consequences.”
"Vote 4 Energy" will target politically important states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia later this month with ads including scripted "testimonials" from ordinary citizens supporting their agenda:
An e-mail from API advertised an open casting call for “all ages and races to express their views” in a commercial spot. The basic qualifications read: “You are willing to go on camera and state your beliefs” and “You are comfortable portraying YOURSELF! They want REAL PEOPLE not Actors!”
Except that when one participant (Gabe Eisner from the Checks and Balances project) tried to express his support for clean energy, he was quickly shown the door. Our friends at Greenpeace have already responded with their own delightful parody:
It's gonna be a fun campaign.