Hey, remember George Allen, the former Republican senator from Virginia best known for using the racist slur “macaca” on camera during his failed bid for reelection in 2006? Apparently, he’s making his comeback as the Republican anti-climate bill poster boy, flacking on behalf of the coal and oil lobbies.
Allen reemerged this week as the chairman of the American Energy Freedom Center, a new project from the Institute for Energy Research. IER does research and public-policy work on behalf of the oil, gas, coal, and electricity industries, and has been campaigning against the House climate and energy bill on behalf of its industry benefactors. Their new “energy freedom movement” is an astroturf effort to rally support for increased use of domestic fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas.
Allen, who at one time was considered a strong favorite to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, appears in a new web ad standing awkwardly in a living room and calling on Americans to “rise up and act” against the climate and energy bill put forward by House Democrats.
“America’s abundant, reliable energy resources under lock and key,” Allen says in the video. “And it’s about to get worse.”
Instead, he says, Congress should pursue “clean, creative, and thoughtful utilization of American energy” – i.e., fossil fuels. The video then dwells for a second on a sign reading, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
“Let’s power on, America, and choose the path of prosperity and opportunity for all,” Allen concludes.
More on what Allen’s been up to on his website. And here’s the video, in all its shaky, schmaltzy glory: