Obama tries to counter gasoline issue and goes after Romney in new Florida ad

Published April 2, 2012

The Obama campaign has a new 30 second ad in Florida and several other key states that touts higher domestic oil production and takes a swipe at Mitt Romney as a pawn of big oil.

The RNC said it was evidence Obama is "panicked."


PRESIDENT OBAMA VOICEOVER: I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.

VOICEOVER: Under President Obama, domestic oil production's at an eight-year high.

VIDEO TEXT: U.S. Oil Production: 8-Year High

Domestic Crude Oil Production Is At Its Highest Level In Eight Years. According to Energy Information Administration data, in 2011, U.S. oil production was 2,065,366 thousand barrels of oil, the highest level since 2003 when production was 2,073,453 thousand barrels. [Energy Information Administration, 3/19/12]

Bloomberg: "Domestic Oil Output Is The Highest In Eight Years." "Domestic oil output is the highest in eight years. … Domestic crude oil production rose 3.6 percent last year to an average 5.7 million barrels a day, the highest since 2003, according to the Energy Department." [Bloomberg, 2/7/12]

VOICEOVER: So why is Big Oil attacking him?

VIDEO TEXT: Big Oil Attack Ad.

The American Energy Alliance Launched A Multi-Million Dollar Ad Campaign Attacking President Obama's Energy Policies. "The American Energy Alliance launched today a multi-million dollar nationwide initiative to educate the public about energy policies that are causing gas prices and other energy costs to skyrocket. The first phase of the initiative includes a 30-second television ad that begins airing this week in eight states across the country." [American Energy Alliance press release, 3/29/12]

Associated Press Headline: "Outside Group Targets Obama Record On Energy." [Associated Press, 3/29/12]

· The American Energy Alliance Is Spending Millions On An Ad Attacking President Obama. "An outside group with ties to conservative causes on Thursday launched a $3.6 million ad buy lashing out at President Barack Obama's energy record, blaming him for rising gas prices and his decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline project. The ads aired in eight states by the American Energy Alliance seek to undercut Obama's message that he has increased oil drilling and pushed to develop renewable energy sources, and came as the president unsuccessfully pressured Congress to cut billions of dollars in subsidies for oil companies." [Associated Press, 3/29/12]


The American Energy Alliance Is Backed By The Oil Industry. "Similarly, Patrick Creighton, a spokesman for the oil-industry-backed American Energy Alliance, said that group had been unable to finance a full assault on the greenhouse-gas emissions limits." [New York Times, 7/21/09]

The American Energy Alliance Has Ties To Charles And David Koch. "The group launching a $3.6 million ad campaign hitting President Barack Obama on gasoline prices has deep ties to the billionaire libertarian industrialists Charles and David Koch. The American Energy Alliance is the political arm of the Institute for Energy Research, and sources tell POLITICO that both groups are funded partly by the Koch brothers and their donor network." [Politico, 3/29/12]

AEA Is Affiliated With The Institute For Energy Research, Which Has Received Funding From The Koch Brothers And Big Oil Companies. "American Energy Alliance is an offshoot of the Institute for Energy Research, also run by Pyle, who served as a policy analyst for Delay when he was House majority whip. A 501(c)(3) organization, the Institute received $95,000 from ExxonMobil in 2007 and $65,000 the year before. ExxonMobil is no longer a funder, according to the organization. The Institute is also running radio ads promoting drilling. The Institute has also received money from the Brown Foundation, which was started by the founders of the construction and energy company Brown & Root; the Searle Freedom Trust, funded by the late conservative philanthropist Daniel Searle; and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, which is run by executives of Koch Industries, an oil industry giant." [NPR, 9/22/08]

The President Of The American Energy Alliance Is A Former Koch Lobbyist. "The recently formed American Energy Alliance is run by Thomas Pyle, a former aide to Republican Tom DeLay who recently lobbied for the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association and Koch Industries." [NPR, 9/22/08]

VOICEOVER: Because he's fighting to end their tax breaks.

VIDEO TEXT: OBAMA: End tax breaks for big oil - CBS News, 3/29/12

CBS News: "Obama: End Tax Breaks For Big Oil." From A CBS News article titled: "Obama: End tax breaks for big oil": "President Barack Obama says Americans are getting hit twice — once at the gas pump, and once more by sending billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies. Flanked by dozens of invited guests in the Rose Garden, Obama is again seeking to pressure Congress to end $4 billion in tax subsidies. He says oil companies are pulling in record profits and shouldn't get taxpayer help when that money could be used on alternative energy." [CBS News, 3/29/12]

President Obama, Calling On Congress To Vote To End Subsidies For Big Oil, Said That They Can Either "Vote To Spend Billions Of Dollars More In Oil Subsidies That Keep Us Trapped In The Past, Or They Can Vote To End These Taxpayer Subsidies … So That We Can Invest In The Future." From President Obama May 29, 2012 remarks on oil and gas subsidies: "And that's the choice that's facing Congress today. They can either vote to spend billions of dollars more in oil subsidies that keep us trapped in the past, or they can vote to end these taxpayer subsidies that aren't needed to boost oil production so that we can invest in the future. It's that simple. … I think it's curious that some folks in Congress, who are the first to belittle investments in new sources of energy, are the ones that are fighting the hardest to maintain these giveaways for the oil companies." [Remarks by the President on Oil and Gas Subsidies, 3/29/12]

VOICEOVER: He's raising mileage standards, and doubling renewable energy.

VIDEO TEXT: Obama: Raising Mileage Standards. Doubling Renewables.

USA Today: "In A Historic Move To Boost Fuel Efficiency, The Obama Administration Proposed Wednesday To Nearly Double The Required Miles Per Gallon For Passenger Cars And Light Trucks By 2025." "In a historic move to boost fuel efficiency, the Obama administration proposed Wednesday to nearly double the required miles per gallon for passenger cars and light trucks by 2025. The proposal follows President Obama's agreement with 13 major automakers, announced in July, to gradually boost vehicles' fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon -- up from the current standard of 27.3 mpg. Last year, the administration finalized rules to hike the standard to 35.5 mpg by 2016." [USA Today, 11/16/11]

The Obama Administration Is Nearly Doubling Fuel Efficiency Standards Which Will Help To Reduce Oil Dependence By 12 Billion Barrels And Save Consumers More Than $8,000 Per Vehicle At The Pump. "When combined with other historic steps this administration has taken to increase energy efficiency, this proposal will save Americans over $1.7 trillion at the pump, nearly $8,000 per vehicle by 2025. These combined actions also will reduce America's dependence on oil by an estimated 12 billion barrels, and, by 2025, reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels per day – enough to offset almost a quarter of the current level of our foreign oil imports. Taken together, these actions will also slash 6 billion metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the programs." [Environmental Protection Agency, 11/16/11]


The American Energy Alliance Opposed The CAFE Standard Agreement The Obama Administration Reached With Car Companies. "The White House announced yesterday that the Obama Administration has collaborated with GM, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, and Hyundai to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for new cars to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. While studies have shown that this standard will have no impact on global emissions, it will increase the profits of the endorsing companies by forcing Americans to buy more expensive cars. In response, Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, issued the following statement: 'Yesterday's CAFE announcement is government intervention at its worst. Higher fuel economy mandates are based on the Obama Administration's belief that Americans are too stupid to decide for themselves which cars to buy. The auto companies should be ashamed of themselves for rolling over, yet again, and signing on to this pact.'" [American Energy Alliance, 7/29/11]


According To The Energy Information Administration, Electricity Production From Wind, Solar, And Geothermal Is Projected To Double By 2012. According to the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2012 reference case, electricity generation from wind, solar, and geothermal in 2012 is projected to be 159.61 billion kilowatt hours. According to the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2011, electricity generation from wind, solar, and geothermal was 72.55 billion kilowatt hours in 2008. [Calculated from Energy Information Administration data, Annual Energy Outlook 2012 Early Release; Annual Energy Outlook 2011]


The American Energy Alliance Urged The Senate Not To Extend "Disastrous Subsidies For Windmills And Other Forms Of Politically-Preferred Energy Sources." In a letter addressed to "Senator," The American Energy Alliance and associates said, "We strongly oppose extending the production tax credit and reviving the 1603 Treasury grant program. The U.S. is risking the energy equivalent of the housing meltdown through a continuation of these policies. Electricity prices are already increasing and these programs will only fuel the increase. Other nations' economies are already reeling from the much higher electricity prices such sources mean for industry and families. It is increasingly clear that the intervention of politicians and bureaucrats in the energy sector has had devastating economic consequences and led to embarrassing scandals. Yet the Senate is considering amendments to extend disastrous subsidies for windmills and other forms of politically-preferred energy sources. We urge you to oppose these amendments." [Letter from the American Energy Alliance and others to Senators, 3/13/12]

VOICEOVER: In all these fights, Mitt Romney's stood with Big Oil— for their tax breaks, attacking higher mileage standards and renewables.

VIDEO TEXT: Romney: For Big Oil Tax Breaks. Attacking Higher Mileage Standards and Renewables

Romney Policy Director Claimed That President Obama Proposed "A $4 Billion Tax Increase For Oil And Gas Companies" Which Would Primarily Burden Smaller U.S.-Based Oil And Gas Companies. Romney Campaign Memo from Policy Director Lanhee Chen: "He has also proposed a $4 billion tax increase for oil and gas companies. (Although, at some point he may discover that the primary burden of his tax hike will not be on multinational giants with 'tens of billions of dollars' in profits, but rather on the smaller, U.S.-based companies that are working to increase our domestic production, as well as on the consumers who will see prices increase.)" [Romney For President, 3/4/12]

· President Obama Has Called For An "End to $4 Billion In Tax Subsidies" For Big Oil. From A CBS News article titled: "Obama: End tax breaks for big oil": "President Barack Obama says Americans are getting hit twice — once at the gas pump, and once more by sending billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies. Flanked by dozens of invited guests in the Rose Garden, Obama is again seeking to pressure Congress to end $4 billion in tax subsidies. He says oil companies are pulling in record profits and shouldn't get taxpayer help when that money could be used on alternative energy." [CBS News, 3/29/12]


Romney: Federal CAFE Requirements "Helped Foreign Automobiles Gain Market Share In The U.S." And "Was Hurting Detroit." When asked about the auto industry rescue, Romney said: "I care about this state and about auto industry like…I have seen this industry and I've seen this state go through tough times. And my view some years ago was that the federal government, by putting in place CAFE requirements that helped foreign automobiles gain market share in the U.S., was hurting Detroit." [CNBC Republican Primary Debate, 11/9/11]

· Romney: The Domestic Auto Industry "Got In Trouble Because The Government Put In Place A, Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards That, That Made A Huge Advantage For The Foreign Companies As Opposed To The Domestics." Romney: "I'll tell you, one of the reasons this industry got into so much trouble was the UAW asked for too much and management gave into it. Now they also got in trouble because the government put in place a, corporate average fuel economy standards that, that made a huge advantage for the foreign companies as opposed to the domestics." [WOOD Radio (Michigan), 2/24/12]

Romney Referred To The Obama Administration's Green Jobs Initiatives As "Unhealthy" And Wind And Solar Energy As "The Most Ballyhooed Forms Of Alternative Fuel." From Romney's 59 point plan: "An Unhealthy 'Green' Jobs Obsession: As the Obama administration wages war against oil and coal, it has been spending billions of dollars on alternative energy forms and touting its creation of 'green' jobs. But it seems to be operating more on faith than on fact-based economic calculation. To begin with, wind and solar power, two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative fuel, remain sharply uncompetitive on their own with conventional resources such as oil and natural gas in most applications. Indeed, at current prices, these technologies make little sense for the consuming public but great sense only for the companies reaping profits from taxpayer subsidies." [Romney 59 Point Plan, p. 90, released 9/6/11]

VOICEOVER: So when you see this ad

VOICEOVER: Remember who paid for it. And what they want.


According to Open Secrets, Romney Raised $754,400 From Oil & Gas Interests As A 2012 Presidential Candidate. [Open Secrets, accessed 3/22/12]

VIDEO TEXT: Approved by Barack Obama. Paid for by Obama for America.