Fossil Fuel Industry Doubles Down on Decades of Lies

September 14, 2012


Check out the coal industry’s deceptive advertisements at Since the 1970s, the coal industry has been deploying deceptive advertising campaigns to scrub its image and delay important clean air standards. They use the same arguments year after year — environmental protections will cripple the economy, the science behind pollution problems is inadequate, and that coal is already clean.


WASHINGTON — When Barack Obama first ran for president, being green was so popular that oil companies like Chevron were boasting about their commitment to renewable energy, and his Republican opponent, John McCain, supported action on global warming.

As Mr. Obama seeks re-election, that world is a distant memory. Some of the mightiest players in the oil, gas and coal industries are financing an aggressive effort to defeat him, or at least press him to adopt policies that are friendlier to fossil fuels. And the president’s former allies in promoting wind and solar power and caps on greenhouse gases? They are disenchanted and sitting on their wallets.

This year’s campaign on behalf of fossil fuels includes a surge in political contributions to Mitt Romney, attack ads questioning Mr. Obama’s clean-energy agenda, and television spots that are not overtly partisan but criticize administration actions like new air pollution rules and the delay of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

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 Times rated presidential campaign and national policy ads by whether they promoted fossil fuels or pushed clean energy and conservation, regardless of their sponsors, using ad and spending data compiled by Kantar Media, a company that tracks television advertising.

In one state, an important ballot initiative this fall would mandate renewable energy goals for the state. In the face of an avalanche of fossil fuel money and disinformation, citizens groups fired an opening shot in the media war today.


5 Responses to “Fossil Fuel Industry Doubles Down on Decades of Lies”

  1. rayduray Says:

    Off Topic

    While the Tropical Atlantic remains quiet, the Western Pacific has a Super-Typhoon heading toward Okinawa:

  2. […] 2012/09/14: PSinclair: Fossil Fuel Industry Doubles Down on Decades of Lies […]

  3. […] carbon capture and storage [CCS] technology will solve all our problems).   Unfortunately, this is a lie the coal industry has been peddling for decades.  Even more unfortunately, as I demonstrated last week, this is a piece of propaganda that we must […]

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