‘Tis the season for attack ads. We’ll be seeing plenty in the coming weeks as election campaigns go nasty. But we’re already getting a taste from dueling ad campaigns featuring Big Oil’s twisted semantics on one side and a double-shot from green groups on the other.
The people have spoken (what we’ve told them to say): You’ve no doubt seen the American Petroleum Institute ads where average schmoes parrot Big Oil’s party line that “energy taxes” will pretty much lead us down the road to ruin. Funny thing about that term “energy taxes.” This summer it meant any potential costs hitting fossil fuel companies from the climate legislation in the Senate. Now it refers to the proposal to take away some of the tax incentives Big Oil receives. One lie fits all.
Now the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has fired back with its own spot, titled “Your health isn’t worth it … to us.” Watch the clip. And then there’s the ad from VoteVets.org. Instead of jabbing at the oil lobby with satire, it goes straight to the heart. In it, Dante Zappala talks about how his brother was killed in Iraq, then he warns, “Don’t let Big Oil lie to you about what our dependence (on oil) really costs.” Check out the VoteVets video. And here’s more of its message:
Veterans are not going to let Big Oil get away with distorting the real issue here, just to protect their bottom line. Breaking our addiction to oil is a matter of American security. It’s a matter of protecting our troops. It’s disgusting that oil companies would rather see our oil-fed enemies get stronger and endanger American soldiers than tell the truth about the real cost of our dependence on oil and fossil fuels. We will not let that stand.
Give pieces a chance: Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who is pushing the Senate to pass a modest renewable electricity standard this year, says don’t expect any major climate legislation to get through Congress for the rest of Barack Obama’s term. He suggests that any progress on climate and energy will have to come in “bits and pieces.” Bingaman does, however, say he still favors some kind of carbon tax. He told Reuters:
I think we definitely should be trying to put a price on carbon. That is an important signal in the marketplace. There is some very real value in doing that — it’s just a question of how you get it done.
They can’t give it away: The painful truth about all that stimulus money from the feds — $3.1 billion — that was supposed to be used by the states on energy efficiency and renewable energy: only 7.2 percent has been spent so far. It’s classic government fail. [The New York Times]
Straighten up and fly right: Energy Secretary Steven Chu tells offshore drilling engineers that when it comes to safety, they could learn a few things from the airline industry. Like, maybe a basic warning system? [Houston Chronicle]
Anchor management: Another Greenpeace attempt to stop oil drilling in the North Atlantic. This time protesters have attached a survival pod to the anchor of a drilling ship and say they’re ready to settle in for a month. [Shetland News]
Bottom’s up: A new NOAA report says global warming has reached new depths. Scientists found that even ocean water more than a half mile deep is getting warmer. [NOAA]
Rise and shine: Solar turned up the heat in 2009, manufacturing 51 percent more photovoltaic cells than in 2008. [Treehugger]
It’s a dirty job, but some app’s gotta do it: It was only a matter of time. Now there’s an Android app that tells you how dirty your air is. [Discovery News]
Wheels of fortune: You want to see a city that really has the bike thing going on? And no, it’s not Amsterdam. Watch the video and see for yourself. [Streetfilms.org]
Good to the last drop: Scientists have bottled up what they say are some of the last bits of pure air on Earth. They found it in the Amazon. [Treehugger]