The ABC’s to Blocking the Future

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The various fossil fuel industries have been spending hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars to influence the national discussion this year, from campaign contributions to Santa Claus giving out ‘clean coal’ at the Metro exits closest to Congressional offices to sponsoring presidential debates throughout the election cycle.  This fossil foolish promotion of a carbon-heavy, civilization-unfriendly seems to be putting money in many pockets, including public communications companies and broadcast companies.  

For example,  CNN has been earned much from coal industry sponsoring of debates, CBS from ExxonMobil, and ABC has aired Chevron greenwashing Human Energy ads just after debates.

One has to wonder whether this funding has affected ABC’s decision to deny the We Campaign’s Repower America advertisment that criticizes the money that big oil and lobbyists are spending to insure that Americans reman “stuck with dirty and expensive media”.  

ABC’s decision to deny the We Campaign’s Repower America advertisment was justified in this way.

ABC recently refused to run our Repower America ad, even though they run ads from oil companies that mislead the American people about the role fossil fuels play in the climate crisis.

ABC has formerly communicated to the Alliance for Climate Protection, the We Campaign‘s parent organization, the following:

Per our Guidelines, national buildings may be used in advertising provided the depictions are incidental to the advertiser’s promotion of the product or service. Given the messages and themes of this commercial, the image of the Capital building is not incidental to this advertising. Please replace the image with one that is not of another national building or monument. Thank you.


Okay, here is the text of the advertisement in question:

The solution to our climate crisis seems simple.

Repower America with wind and solar.

End our dependence on foreign oil. A stronger economy.

So why are we still stuck with dirty and expensive energy?

Because big oil spends hundreds of millions of dollars to block clean energy.

Lobbyists, ads, even scandals.

All to increase their profits, while America suffers.

Breaking big oil’s lock on our government …

Now that’s change.

We’re the American people and we approve this message.

“The Capital building is not incidental to … advertising” about the undue influence of fossil fuel advertising and lobbying on national policy?    

“The Capital building is not incidental to … advertising” specifically mentioning “lobbyists” and “our government”?  

Consider me confused about this Mickey Mouse decision.

As per The Wonkroom,

While running ads calling for conservation and depicting happy children and unspoiled nature, Chevron was simultaneously expanding its operations in the tar sands of Alberta, Canada and oil fields of the Niger Delta, and lobbying to lift the offshore drilling moratorium.

If you find this ABC action disturbing, you too can join 100,000s of fellow citizens and send a message to ABC.

A question: What hope do we have of getting to a sensible, prosperous, climate-friendly future if even paid advertising has to jump through hoops to make it to national television?

NOTE:  Joe Romm posted  The truth-telling ad ABC won’t let you see – and what you can do about it yesterday.  He made an excellent point in pointing out that the advertisment had a key mistake, a true falsehood:

One tiny quibble with the ad: The American people did not write or approve this message. If they had, then there wouldn’t have been the need for such an ad in the first place. The ad is directed to the public, not from it. Yes, it’s a “cute” tag line – but it isn’t true. And I think that subtly undercuts the message – that this ad is telling truth to power.

But this it is only a tiny quibble, when you compare this to ad to the outrageous energy lies in many ads that ABC and the other networks run.

Let me comment that there is an error with Joe’s comment. This isn’t a “tiny quibble,” but a major one: the American people remain ‘energy illiterate’ and those pushing drillusion want to keep them ignorant.  The We Campaign and others (such as Joe Romm and this blogger) are trying to make enough the population functionally literate when it comes to energy issues such that we can move forward to an Energy Smart (and financially smart … and security smart … and environmentally smart) future.

NOTE: Since writing this, Kate Sheppard at Grist posted an article with interviews with some participants … although “Grist’s repeated requests for comment from ABC and Disney were not returned.”  And, Watthead made an excellent post.  “In short, it seems like this year’s presidential election is essentially “brought to you by your friends at ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and Peabody Coal.””


  1. that the Santas handing out lumps of “clean coal” don’t bother mentioning the effects of blasting the tops off of mountains in Appalachia, or their nasty habit of turning thousands and thousands of square miles of formerly pristine land here in the West into poisoned moonscapes that will quite possibly never be able to support any form of life ever again?

    “In short, it seems like this year’s presidential election is essentially “brought to you by your friends at ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and Peabody Coal.””

    Well, at least there’s something to be said for continuity, eh?  After all, we’re America…fundamental changes in the way we live are dangerous and radical!  Better to leave things like that to societies who actually plan for the future beyond the next quarterly financial report…

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