I've heard a new ad a few times today, put out by the "American Energy Alliance," that attacks President Obama's energy policies and suggests that the President's "all of the above energy plan" is just a lie he's telling to the voters. (If you care to, you can download the ad here.)
I get suspicious, though, when I hear political ads put out by groups with names like "American Energy Alliance," since the name tells you nothing about who the group actually is. Of course, their website is no more help: they claim to be "a not-for-profit organization that engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies." And their "Funding" page reads, in full:
The American Energy Alliance is a 501c(4) not-for-profit organization and is funded by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations. No financial support is sought for or accepted from government sources. Contributions to AEA are not deductible for income tax purposes.What corporations? No details there (though it's almost certainly oil companies) because as SourceWatch confirms: "Since 2008, AEA has been established as a 501c4 non profit group, whose focus is lobbying, but it does not disclose who its funders are." SourceWatch does inform us, though, that the organization which the AEA identifies as their parent (the IER - "Institute for Energy Research") was funded (at least up until 2007) significantly by ExxonMobil, and has also received funding from groups associated with energy and construction company Brown & Root (a former Halliburton subsidiary) and with Koch Industries.
One might expect a group attacking the President for allegedly deceitful campaign promises to be open about where their funding and influence comes from. Then again, we might not expect that. This is American politics, after all.