Even as dishonest fossil-fuel propaganda goes, a National Mining Association advertisement being played in Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania is a true doozy.
Environmental groups have been calling on radio stations to stop playing the ad, which claims that electricity rates have nearly doubled because of the Obama administration’s proposed CO2 regulations for new power plants — which would be pretty extraordinary, given that the rules haven’t even taken effect yet. Enviros say playing the ad violates Federal Communications Commission guidelines on honesty in advertising.
Yet 23 radio stations continue to air the ad, prompting the environmentalists to take their complaint on Wednesday to the FCC commissioners. Here are highlights from a letter cosigned by the Natural Resources Defense Council, 350.org, Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace USA, and 22 other groups:
The central claim of the National Mining Association ad, which has been determined to be false by independent researchers, is an inaccurate and duplicitous statement about the impact of proposed clean air standards. …
The FCC has advised broadcasters that they are “to be responsible to the community they serve and act with reasonable care to ensure that advertisements aired on their stations are not false or misleading.” We request that the FCC investigate whether the radio stations running this misleading advertisement are properly serving their communities.
The ad is based on a misleading press release issued by congressional Republicans. “This is a case study of how a trade group takes a snippet of congressional testimony and twists it out of proportion for political purposes,” The Washington Post wrote last month in debunking the ad. “The EPA’s proposed regulations, along with other factors, may boost the cost of electricity, but the NMA should not rely on such bogus, hyped evidence to make its case.”
Here’s a list of radio stations that the green groups say are still airing the dishonest ad: