Outside Front Groups Spend Over $300,000 In Colorado
On Anti-Energy Reform Television Ads
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Special interest front groups have spent over $300,000 in Colorado on misleading and fictitious television ads aimed to advance their anti-clean energy agenda and shape the midterm elections, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has received funding from multinational oil corporations and foreign oil companies , and Americans for Prosperity, the front group founded and financed by David Koch of Koch Industries, have spent $330,190 since August 2010 to attack Colorado congressional candidate Betsy Markey for supporting action on clean energy and climate reform.
According to the analysis, big polluters and their special interest allies have spent $69.5 million on anti-energy reform television ads since the beginning of 2010. Additionally, of the combined television ad spending, the 13 special interest groups examined spent more than $18.3 million starting in August 2010 in targeted states across the country, as this interactive map  shows, along with a full state-by-state breakdown .
Not surprisingly, some of the biggest spenders include: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute. Other shadowy front groups like American Crossroads GPS, an offshoot of Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie’s American Crossroads, and the Americans for Job Security have also jumped into the anti-clean energy fray. According to a recent independent study , “conservative groups have outspent their Democratic counterparts by a margin of over 10 to one” on overall political advertising in the weeks leading up to the November elections. This news comes on the heels of the release of oil companies third quarter profit earnings which are seeing increases: Exxon Mobil  quarterly profits rose by 55 percent, Shell ’s profits rose by 7 percent, and ConocoPhillips  profits doubled.
This latest ad spending analysis only offers a glimpse into how much corporate polluters and their special interest allies are willing to spend to block progress on clean energy and climate reform. As an early CAPAF analysis  showed, the 20 biggest-spending oil, mining, and electric utility companies on lobbying from January 2009 to June 2010, and trade associations generally opposed to clean energy policies spent another $290 million.
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The Center for American Progress Action Fund  is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress . The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.