Out­side group tar­gets Obama’s en­ergy record with $3.6M ad buy

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics - BY KEN THOMAS

A pro-en­ergy group launched a $3.6 mil­lion ad buy Thurs­day lash­ing out at Pres­i­dent Obama’s record, blam­ing him for ris­ing gas prices and at­tack­ing his decision to de­lay the Key­stone XL pipe­line project.

The ads aired in eight states by the Amer­i­can En­ergy Al­liance seek to un­der­cut Mr. Obama’s mes­sage that he has in­creased oil drilling and pushed to de­velop re­new­able en­ergy sources, and came as the pres­i­dent un­suc­cess­fully pres­sured Congress to cut bil­lions of dol­lars in sub­si­dies for oil com­pa­nies.

The ad, called “Nine Dol­lar Gas,” says gas prices have nearly dou­bled on Mr. Obama’s watch and crit­i­cizes his op­po­si­tion to oil drilling in Alaska, his ef­fort to block the Key­stone XL pipe­line and the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s decision to pro­vide more than $500 mil­lion in fed­eral loans to so­lar com­pany Solyn­dra, which later went bank­rupt.

It also places a spot­light on En­ergy Sec­re­tary Steven Chu, quot­ing him from a 2008 in­ter­view as say­ing that the na­tion needs to “boost the price of gaso­line to lev­els in Europe.” “That’s $9 a gal­lon,” the ad says. Mr. Chu is then shown say­ing he doesn’t own a car.

Mr. Chu has since re­nounced his state­ment, though un­der heavy po­lit­i­cal fire, say­ing at a re­cent House hear­ing that he has tried to re­duce gas prices as en­ergy sec­re­tary.

The ad con­cludes: “Tell Obama: We can’t af­ford his fail­ing en­ergy poli­cies.”

The ads are run­ning in New Mex­ico, Colorado, Ne­vada, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Michi­gan, all states cru­cial to the 2012 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Democrats called the Amer­i­can En­ergy Al­liance a “front group for big oil,” and re­leased an on­line ad that high­lighted com­mon Obama themes on en­ergy: in­creased oil pro­duc­tion, de­ci­sions to re­quire car-mak­ers to raise gas mileage stan­dards, and more re­new­able en­ergy.

Mr. Obama has ar­gued his case on en­ergy in re­cent weeks, trav­el­ing to a so­lar plant in Ne­vada, oil fields in New Mex­ico and the site of a fu­ture pipe­line in Ok­la­homa.

On Thurs­day, he urged Congress to end the oil sub­si­dies, say­ing the “oil in­dus­try is just fine” and no longer needs “tax­payer give­aways.” The Se­nate re­jected the plan.

The Amer­i­can En­ergy Al­liance’s pres­i­dent is Thomas J. Pyle, a for­mer lob­by­ist for Koch In­dus­tries. The in­dus­trial firm’s top ex­ec­u­tives are Charles and David Koch, who have been prom­i­nent sup­port­ers of lib­er­tar­ian and pro-mar­ket causes.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

En­ergy Sec­re­tary Steven Chu is at­tacked in a new ad pur­chased by a pro-en­ergy group that is air­ing in eight pres­i­den­tial elec­tion bat­tle­ground states.

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