New TV Ad Urges Senator Susan Collins to Reject the ‘Murkowski Big Oil Bailout’

June 08, 2010

How Will Collins Vote On The Reckless Senate Resolution That Would Let Big Oil Off the Hook for Their Pollution and Worsen Our Nation’s Dependence on Foreign Oil by Millions of Barrels a Day?


Click Here to View ‘ENOUGH’


***Click Here to Download Broadcast Quality Version***

Washington DC–  Americans United for Change launched a new television ad in Maine today urging Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to reject the ‘Murkowski Big Oil Bailout’ in advance of a key vote in the U.S. Senate this week on a reckless resolution that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing greenhouse gas emission rules under the Clean Air Act.  The resolution written by and for polluter lobbyists, advanced by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and co-sponsored by the most Senate Republicans would let big oil off the hook for their pollution and worsen the nation’s addiction to foreign oil.  See script below for “ENOUGH,” airing Tuesday through Thursday on broadcast television in Portland.


As Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote yesterday, the Murkowski resolution would “increase America's oil dependence by billions of barrels” and “would take away EPA's ability to protect the health and welfare of Americans from greenhouse gas pollution.”

Tom McMahon, Executive Director, Americans United for Change:“Hasn’t our environment been polluted enough?  Senate Republicans have to be seriously out-of-touch with reality to look at the worst oil spill in U.S. history and think, ‘You know, polluters should be less regulated.’  Less regulation of big oil air pollution mean’s the sky’s the limit on big oil profits and recklessness, so it’s no wonder that the co-sponsors of this resolution have taken more than twice as much big oil money than non-sponsors.  We hope that Senator Collins will not follow her party line and reject this Big Oil Bailout that lets big polluters off the leash, dramatically worsens our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, and boosts oil profits in the Middle East that wind up in the hands of our enemies.”




Americans United For Change: Enough

Date: 6/7/10






Narrator: The worst oil spill in U.S. history


Visual:The worst oil spill in U.S. history



The BP Disaster Is The Worst Oil Spill In U.S. History. “The stakes were higher than ever as public frustration over the spill grew and a team of government scientists said the oil has been flowing at a rate 2 1/2 to five times higher than what BP and the Coast Guard previously estimated. Two teams of scientists calculated the well has been spewing between 504,000 and more than a million gallons a day. Even using the most conservative estimate, that means about 18 million gallons have spilled so far. In the worst-case scenario, 39 million gallons have leaked. That larger figure would be nearly four times the size of the Exxon Valdez disaster, in which a tanker ran aground in Alaska in 1989, spilling nearly 11 million gallons.” [WashingtonPost, 5/28/10]


Narrator: Senate Republicans, who have taken nearly 20 Million dollars from Big Oil, think our environment hasn't been polluted enough.


Visual: Senate Republicans – who have taken nearly $20,000,000 from Big Oil – think our environment hasn’t been polluted enough


Senate Republicans Have Accepted At Least $18.6 Million From Big Oil. Since 1989, members of the Senate Republican Caucus for the 111th Congress have accepted at least $18,690,814 from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics, 6/4/10; CQ MoneyLine, 6/7/10]


195 Scientists Signed a Letter Opposing the Murkowski Amendment Because of the Negative Health and Climate Impacts. In January 2010, 195 scientists signed a letter with the Union of Concerned Scientists, opposing the Murkowski amendment citing the health risks and impacts on climate change. “We—the 195 undersigned endorsers—urge you to oppose an imminent attack on the Clean Air Act (CAA) that would undermine public health and prevent action on global warming. This attack comes in the form of an amendment by Senator Murkowski to the debt limit bill (H.J.Res. 45) that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from acting on its finding that global warming endangers public health and welfare. Because the EPA's finding is based on solid science, this amendment also represents a rejection of that science.” [UCS, 1/19/10]


A Coalition Of Oil Industry Trade Groups Signed A Letter Supporting The Murkowski Resolution. In March of 2010, a coalition of oil industry trade groups sent a letter to U.S. Senators supporting the Murkowski Resolution. The signatories included the API, IPAA, NPRA, PMAA and USOGA. [API, 3/12/10]


  • BP Is A Member Of The American Petroleum Institute.In a 2008 legal affidavit submitted by API to the South Carolina Supreme Court, relating to API and BP v. South Carolina Department of Revenue, it says “BP is a member of API.” [Petroleum Marketers Association of America, 6/26/08]


Narrator: They’re working to gut the bipartisan Clean Air Act: giving big oil a bailout; letting them off the hook for their pollution.


Visual: Now the Republicans are working to gut the bipartisan Clean Air Act

The Former EPA Administrator For Two Republican Presidents Said That The Murkowski Resolution Would “Rollback Clean Air Act Protections.”‘S.J.Res. 26 would rollback Clean Air Act protections and prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, notwithstanding the agency's scientific determination that these pollutants endanger human health and welfare,’ Train wrote in a letter (pdf) to Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Train served as EPA chief under former Presidents Nixon and Ford.” [E&E, 5/25/10]


The 1990 Amendment to the CAA Passed With Overwhelming Bipartisan Support. In 1990, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the Clean Air Act Amendments by a vote of 89 to 10 – including 32 of the chamber’s 38 Republicans. Lisa Murkoski’s father voted for the final package. [Vote 324, 10/27/90]

  • Even George H.W. Bush’s EPA Administrator Hailed the Vote Calling it a Break on a “13-Year Clean Air Stalemate.” Following the signing of the 1990 amendment to the CAA, George H.W. Bush’s EPA Administrator praised the bill’s passage citing that it broke years of partisan opposition. In a press release Administrator William Reilly said, “Through his leadership, the President broke the 13-year clean air stalemate by submitting an innovative, market-based bill which will achieve the nation's environmental goals in the most effective manner.” [EPA, 11/15/90]


Narrator: Worst of all, our Senator Collins is considering voting yes.


Visual:Worst of all, our Senator Susan Collins is considering voting YES.


Collins “Has Not Indicated How She Would Vote On Murkowski’s Resolution.” Maine Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both environmental moderates, are not co-sponsors. A Collins spokeswoman said she has not indicated how she would vote on Murkowski's resolution. [CongressDaily, 1/22/10]


Narrator: Oil money has polluted our politics and environment enough.  


Visual:Oil money has polluted our politics and environment enough.  

Two Washington Lobbyists and Former Bush Administration Officials Helped Write the Murkowski Amendment.“The Washington Post has confirmed that two Washington lobbyists, Jeffrey R. Holmstead and Roger R. Martella, Jr., helped craft the original amendment Murkowski planned to offer on the floor last fall. Both Holmstead, who heads the Environmental Strategies Group and Bracewell & Guiliani, and Martella, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, held senior posts at EPA under the Bush administration and represents multiple clients with an interest in climate legislation pending before Congress. In an interview, Holmstead said of the Murkowski amendment, ‘I certainly worked with her staff’ on the exact phrasing of the measure in September. ‘I was involved,’ he said, adding that Martella also helped advise Murkowski's aides on the matter. ‘The line out of the White House and the administration was that the amendment would block the car and truck rule’ setting the first-ever greenhouse gas limits on emissions from vehicles, which are set to become final in March.”[WashingtonPost, 1/11/10]


  • Headline: Lobbyists led meeting on Murkowski EPA amendment[Politico, 1/13/10]


Narrator: Tell Senator Collins to keep Maine’s skies clear.


Visual: Tell Sen. Collins to keep Maine’s skies clear


Narrator: Vote NO on the Murkowski Big Oil Bailout.

Visual: Vote NO on the Murkowski Big Oil Bailout






The Murkowski Amendment “Has The Potential to Handcuff U.S. EPA” From Regulating Carbon Emissions. “But a possible amendment from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has the potential to handcuff U.S. EPA from exercising its full regulatory power, a scenario that has sent shockwaves through the environmental community. The amendment to EPA's fiscal 2010 spending bill would allow the agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions only from mobile sources and prohibit it from regulating heat-trapping emissions from stationary sources like power plants and industrial facilities. The limits would be in place for one year.” [New YorkTimes, 9/22/09]


  • Headline: Murkowski Looks to Block EPA Carbon Emissions Limits [Roll Call, 12/14/09]


Top Administration Climate Adviser Warned That The Murkowski Resolution Would “Unravel” The Basis Of The EPA’s Endangerment Finding. “But the administration and several lawmakers have warned that if the Murkowski measure passes, it would unravel the agreement, setting off a string of actions that would allow California and more than a dozen other states to enforce their own auto emissions standards. “If [the Murkowski resolution] were to be successful, there is no car rule, because what sits underneath that comprehensive car rule is that endangerment finding,’ Obama's top energy and climate adviser, Carol Browner, said earlier this week.” [E&E, 2/25/10]


Visual:Paid for by Americans United For Change