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Big Oil dominates political attacks on Obama | Grist

Here's an astonishing statistic, brought to us by Bloomberg:

In April, 16,991 negative ads aired in various parts of the country and 13,748 of them -- or 81 percent -- focused on energy, according to data provided by New York-based Kantar Media's CMAG, which tracks advertising.

Energy? Really?

The details of the story make clear that the vast bulk of these negative energy ads are attack ads directed at Obama, purchased by big PACs -- Americans for Prosperity, American Energy Alliance, Let Freedom Ring, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies -- awash in Big Oil money.

What the hell is going on? Why is energy dominating the right's campaign against Obama?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 12:30:30 PM EST
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afew:
What the hell is going on? Why is energy dominating the right's campaign against Obama?

because it's the defining issue of our age.

the lobbies are terrified of any candidate who could harness the public fury at the oil and gas corporations who have been screwing us so handily since the carter presidency.

the only thing that can mend this broken economy is a concerted focus to clean energy, the New Deal and apollo program rolled into one massive rollout.

of course regulating financial loopholes and jailing some blanksters would be good news, taxing corporations, blocking tax havens, cutting military expenditure, buffet rule, tobin tax, all could do their part to rebalance the economy, but nothing would break the repeat cycle of corruption more than changing our energy policies from an exploitative, frack-you model, to the democratisation of energy, which is what it would be if the grid and homes were adapted to rooftop solar PV/thermal, distributed generation and negawatts-awareness.

the money pacs will go insane (heartland institute just gave us a taste of just how insane), in ways that will make the RIAA's persecution of filesharers look benevolent, but reality will out, as their efforts to demonise people who care about planetary survival become ever more grotesquely bizarre.

you can't fool all the people for ever. obama will keep appeasing the villains until he realises the public ain't buying the BS no more.

then that sumptuous loquacity can be bent to helping shepherd the american people through the 'slow emergency' powering down will seem like to many people, those who invested in the status quo, sacrificed for it, and now must watch lifetime savings vapourising into the maw of wall st profits, their old proud neighbourhoods going to seed, and their little sliver of the american dream being taken from them.

they're scared all right because the energy issue, once grocked by the majority, will do more rip back the curtain of lies and propaganda we've been being fed for decades faster and more effectively than anything they can do to keep the genie in the bottle.

that's why ET is so special...

"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 08:29:24 PM EST
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OBAMA: "When a woman in Iowa shared the story of her financial struggles, he [Romney] responded with economic theory.  He told her, "our productivity equals our income."  Well, let me tell you something.  The problem with our economy isn't that the American people aren't productive enough -- you've been working harder than ever.  The challenge we face right now -- the challenge we faced for over a decade is that harder work hasn't led to higher incomes.  It's that bigger profits haven't led to better jobs.

"Governor Romney doesn't seem to get that.  He doesn't seem to understand that maximizing profits by whatever means necessary -- whether through layoffs or outsourcing or tax avoidance or union-busting -- might not always be good for the average American or for the American economy.

"Why else would he want to spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans?  Why else would he propose cutting his own taxes while raising them on 18 million working families?  Why else would he want to slash the investments that have always helped the economy grow, but at the same time, stop regulating the reckless behavior on Wall Street that helped the economy crash?

"Somehow, he and his friends in Congress think that the same bad ideas will lead to a different result.  Or they're just hoping you won't remember what happened the last time we tried it their way.

"Well, Ohio, I'm here to say that we were there, we remember, and we are not going back.  We are moving this country forward.

"Look, we want businesses to succeed.  We want entrepreneurs and investors rewarded when they take risks, when they create jobs and grow our economy.  But the true measure of our prosperity is more than just a running tally of every balance sheet and quarterly profit report.  I don't care how many ways you try to explain it:  Corporations aren't people.  People are people.

by rootless2 on Sat May 5th, 2012 at 08:50:05 PM EST
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Granted, energy is the defining issue, but what does that have to do with Obama? If anyone has shown a lack of interest in actually effecting a change in conventional energy development and profits he has. Sure, a few nice words now and then, but status quo could be the dude's middle name.
by Andhakari on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 03:11:18 AM EST
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well that was the point i was trying to make. if there's one thing the masses would like as much or more than stopping wall st's depredations, it's be to have no electric bills any more, to feel that climate change was being recognised, and that the government was not in hock to the energy lobby, as has been the case for yonks.

obama was probably warned the secret service would not guarantee his safety if he even thought about taking this direction.

"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 07:40:57 AM EST
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So your theory is that the oil interests are spending 10s of millions of dollars because they have been deceived by Obama's rhetoric?
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 09:10:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rootless2:
So your theory is that the oil interests are spending 10s of millions of dollars because they have been deceived by Obama's rhetoric?

no. i think they're spending millions of dollars (chump change for them) to try and sway public opinion, because there is more and more evidence of climate change on the ground, the pentagon knows it very well, and they have obama's ear.

i do think energy lobbies are more powerful than the pentagon. obama probably defers to texxacon et al as 'savvy guys', because they have the strong cards. look at how the us gvt was completely codependent with BP with the last fuckup.

i think the lobbies feel invincible, but their achilles heel is the public throwing their lies back in their faces and calling them on their crap. this heartland BS is a prophylactic move, trying to head off the public at the pass. that's why i think OWS is wasting time not linking to ecology as well as economy the way they do.

i love them for expressing indignation at how we're being screwed through finance, but that's still a smaller picture than the ecological crisis in the wings, even a distraction, in a way, although joined at the hip.

obama can be an amplifier, and use his wit to help, but the signal won't come from anywhere else than the people themselves, via greenpeace, 350 org, FB and such probably. until then he will default to the status quo. case in point the recent pipeline confrontation.

if the signal were to come through politics as usual, the greens would be stronger in the usa.

"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 12:33:18 PM EST
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Very good.

guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 04:36:52 AM EST
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That's just campaign waffle.  Andkhari is right, he has shown absolutely no interest in moving the US towards such a model.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 05:57:49 AM EST
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On the contrary, the Solyndra fake scandal is a reaction by oil interests against the Obama government's investment in alternative energy technologies - an investment that very much threatens them.
by rootless2 on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 09:15:02 AM EST
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that was a bush baby, and a poster child of how not to go about it, tempting to believe it was designed to fail to embarrass the whole industry. the fact it's even been so politicised should be a major clue.

you know, like jerking the incentives/tariffs switch on and off to disincentivise investment.

it's just a question of time, obama would be smart to get out further in front of it all, though it may well end his life.

while we're discussing disincentives. there is no one to stand in for him if he goes, no other dem with half his mojo. it's possible he's too precious to waste...

al gore seems a spent force, politically.

"I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned." - Richard Feynman

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun May 6th, 2012 at 12:49:05 PM EST
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