I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Ad Watch: Pro-drilling group airs ads against Udall
A pro-drilling group called the American Energy Alliance is airing ads on both 770 KKOB-AM and 1350 KABQ-AM attacking Tom Udall’s stance on drilling.
Both radio stations are owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc. which also owns popular music FM stations. KKOB is by far the most popular radio station in the Albuquerque media market, with a 9.4 share in the winter of 2008, according to Arbitron numbers. KABQ, a local Air America radio affiliate, has a 2.1 share.
Note: KKOB is owned by Citadel Broadcasting, not Clear Channel. The Independent regrets the error.
"The U.S. is sitting on top of vast untapped oil reserves, estimated at about 2 trillion barrels, enough oil to last us for 300 years," the ad by the American Energy Alliance claims. However, the largest oil reserves in the world belong to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has an estimated 260 billion barrels of oil, or around one-fifth of the world’s known oil reserves.
The group must be referring to oil shale reserves in the United States. Extracting oil from oil shale is perhaps more controversial than drilling for oil because of the energy needed to extract usable oil from the oil shale. Prices must stay above a certain price per barrel for oil shale extraction to be economically viable.
Information on the group is hard to come by. There are no online Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filings, no Internal Revenue Service filings and no way to contact the group. The latest news on an American Energy Alliance comes from 1996, in a Washington Post article describing the group as "a coalition of the National Association of Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute and Edison Electric Institute."
One must go back to 1993 to find more information on the group, this time from Time magazine:
In April [the National Association of Manufacturers's Jerry] Jasinowski’s group got together with the American Petroleum Institute, 1,600 large companies, small businesses and farmers to form the American Energy Alliance (AEA), a group designed solely to defeat the BTU tax. The coalition paid more than $1 million to Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm, to deploy nearly 45 staff members in 23 states during the past two months. Burson’s goal was to drum up as much grass-roots outrage about the BTU tax as possible and direct it at the swing Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee.
In the mid-’90s, at least, the group was a group funded by oil companies. David Halvarg wrote an article in The Nation that described the group’s strategy as "’the Tobacco Institute strategy’ of alleging scientific uncertainty."
"More energy means lower prices for families, Congressman Udall says we’re not going to drill our way out of this problem, but Congressman shouldn’t drilling at least be part of the solution," the ad asks. The ad also claims Udall has voted against drilling "a whopping 34 times."