Cross-posted from the Wonk Room.

Big Oil is using fake “Americans” to defend billions in tax subsidies. The American Petroleum Institute is running full-page ads in Politico and Roll Call that attack Congress for “new energy taxes”:

Congress will likely consider new taxes on America’s oil and natural gas industry. These new energy taxes will produce wide-reaching effects, and ripple through our economy when America — and Americans — can least afford it.

These unprecedented taxes will serve to reduce investment in new energy supplies at a time when most Americans support developing our domestic oil and natural gas resources. That means less energy, thousands of American jobs being lost and further erosion of our energy security.

Our economy is in crisis, and we need to get the nation on the road to economic recovery. This is no time to burden Americans with new energy costs.

The target of this ad is the Obama administration’s effort to remove $36 billion in loopholes and subsidies for the oil industry. As it turns out, the “Americans” presented in the ad are stock photos from Getty Images:

“Warehouse worker holding large wrench on shoulder”
API stockphoto

“Woman working in a distribution warehouse”
API stockperson

“Man standing with hands in pocket”
API stockperson

Americans are paying the price for these subsidies with our tax dollars, our health, and our national security. Removing these subsidies would “ripple through the economy” by unleashing a clean-energy future.

This is just the latest in a stream of polluter front groups using stock photos in Astroturf campaigns against clean energy policy. API was recently caught trying to add diversity to its dirty ads by photoshopping minorities into stock photography. West Virginia’s “FACES of Coal” turned out to be from iStockPhoto.com. And Virginia’s “Coalition for American Jobs” is a stock-photo front group for the American Chemistry Council.

Update: Found the last stock photo: “Blue collar worker leaning against forklift.”
API stockperson