Americans Reject Big Oil’s Big Money Blitz

The following post comes from National Wildlife Federation Senior Vice President Jeremy Symons:

There’s a dirty little secret about the Big Oil-funded campaign against clean energy & climate legislation: It’s been a huge failure.

Don’t believe me? Just look at the poll numbers. According to CNN’s latest poll (PDF) taken in December — after the Swifthack phony controversy broke – the numbers remain incredibly strong. Three in four Americans (75%) believe “The United States should reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that may contribute to global warming.” And 68% believe “global warming is a proven fact.”

There has been slight erosion in these numbers over the last year. But that’s to be expected – the erosion has come exclusively among Republicans, a result of partisan attacks on President Obama’s clean energy & climate leadership.

As with recent Washington Post poll showing strong support, CNN focused on the small decline in their reporting. The media’s horse race coverage of day-to-day shifts isn’t surprising, but for those of us focused on the marathon of getting a bill passed into law, we should take heart in the consistency over time.

Let’s put those numbers into some context:

  • Polluting industries spent $118 million to lobby on climate & energy legislation this summer alone

  • The oil & coal lobbies poured $115 million into a public relations campaign last year.

And now we have the Swifthack story, leaked just in time for Copenhagen. The same old polluters & science deniers are pushing Swifthack, using the same old scare tactics & misinformation in an attempt to spread doubt, backed by the same old polluters reaping billions in profits from our current energy system.

As much as the deny & delay crowd has tried to use Swifthack and other manufactured “scandals” as reason to slam on the brakes of even discussing climate action, the public once again isn’t buying what Big Oil’s allies are selling. To repeat: Two-thirds convinced global warming is a fact, three-quarters supporting carbon pollution cuts, after Swifthack broke.

So the next time you hear about public support for climate legislation “falling,” try looking at it in a different light – how many voters were bombarded by Big Oil’s
lies, yet were unmoved in their support for clean energy & climate legislation

Photo via Flickr’s Blush Response

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Published: December 15, 2009