radioDon’t believe everything you hear …Photo: baboonThe industry group American Energy Alliance is trying to stir up opposition to the House climate and energy bill with new radio ads targeting key swing voters on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The ads, aimed at nine Democrats and one Republican, call the bill “an energy tax that would be the largest tax hike in history.”

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They go on to repeat the thoroughly debunked claim that the bill would cost families $3,100 year.  That figure is a clear misinterpretation of an MIT study, as the author of the study has pointed out.  The EPA, on the other hand, estimates that the bill would cost average families $98 to $140 a year.

“This tax will further cripple our already struggling economy — costing more American jobs,” the ads say. “Higher taxes and more job losses — what could Congress be thinking?”

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The radio spots conclude by urging voters to call their representative and ask them to vote against the climate and energy bill. They started airing on Wednesday and are slated to run for two weeks in the legislators’ home districts. The ads for each of the targeted reps are available online: John Barrow (D-Ga.), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah), Charlie Melancon (D-La.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Mike Ross (D-Ark.), and Betty Sutton (D-Ohio).

According to SourceWatch, the American Energy Alliance is an industry group formed in 1993 to defeat the proposed BTU tax, through a partnership between the National Association of Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, and other businesses and industry groups.

Yet AEA’s website claims the group was founded in May 2008 as an “organization that engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies.”  The group is registered as a not-for-profit, but doesn’t list any of its contributors on the funding page of its site. AEA also says it’s an “independent affiliate” of the Institute for Energy Research, which does research and public-policy work on behalf of the oil, gas, coal, and electricity industries. Thomas J. Pyle is listed as the president of both AEA and IER.

Here’s audio of the ad targeting Barrow of Georgia: