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The siren song of big oil

Published: Tue, November 9, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

The siren song of big oil

Big oil companies and their allies don’t know when to stop. This fall, we’ve seen new television and radio ads that are paid for by fossil fuel companies and other big business groups. And the purpose of these ads is simple: to spread lies and misinformation in order to protect their billions in profits.

To finance these ads, corporations set up front groups with innocent-sounding names. For example, there’s Americans for Prosperity, funded by the oil refinery and pipeline company Koch Industries.

In order to spread their lies, these groups are spending millions on advertising. Americans for Prosperity has spent more than $6 million on advertising since 2009. The American Petroleum Institute has spent more than $65 million. BP has spent more than $110 million.

These are groups that have a financial interest in keeping us dependent on fossil fuels. The oil companies want us to keep spending a billion dollars a day on foreign oil so we can fund other countries that wish us harm. They want us to fall behind China in the global race to develop clean energy.

Oil companies and their corporate allies have a lot of money to spend on advertising, but we don’t have to listen to them. It’s time to call out these messengers of misinformation for the big oil and fossil fuel profiteers that they are.

Cherise Benton, Youngstown


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