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Big Oilís most useful tool is at it again with new ad buy

Washington - Once again, the supposedly tax-focused think tank, the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), is serving as Big Oil’s go-to front group for funneling advertising dollars against renewable energy. This week alone, ACCF spent nearly a half million dollars on TV and digital ads in Washington, DC under the banner of the America Petroleum Institute’s (API) anti-Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) coalition. In the fine print, of course, you find “Sponsored by the American Council for Capital Formation.”

Keen observers will note that ACCF rarely acknowledges its deep ties to Big Oil and the climate denier movement. For a full report on their dark money campaign against clean energy, check out our June 2016 report titled, “ACCF: Big Oil’s Useful Tool.” Their latest salvo demonstrates just how far fossil fuel producers are willing to go when it comes to manipulating the truth. The new ads cite both a “University of Michigan study” and “recent survey” of environmental voters in order to justify replacing cleaner-burning ethanol with more and more gasoline. What they don’t admit is that UMich Professor DeCicco’s research activities are paid for by none other than Big Oil’s top lobbyists at API. And the so-called environmental survey is nothing more than a bias push poll bought and paid for by ACCF. Unsurprisingly, serious environmental advocates agree that the “best available science shows that biofuels hold enormous potential to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

It’s time for ACCF’s remaining non-oil members to reconsider whether their customers are best served by funding anti-climate activities alongside the likes of ExxonMobil and Haliburton.  

And none of these groups get to claim they weren’t aware of where their dollars are going. Americans United for Change sent letters in June 2016 to the top officers of the non-oil industry members and sponsors of the ACCF encouraging them to stop funding efforts that fan the flames of climate skepticism. These organizations include: American Benefits Council; American Beverage Association; American Paper and Forest Association; American Iron and Steel Institute; Ameriprise Financial; Eli Lilly and Company World Headquarters; Beer Institute; Edison Electric Institute; Financial Services Forum; Metals Service Center Institute; National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts; Principal Financial Group; Real Estate Roundtable; Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association; Standard and Poor’s; USAA. 

So far, none have written back.