Oil Industry to Begin Airing Anti-Tax Ads

Posted July 2, 2010 at 3:34pm

After a brief pause following the BP spill, Big Oil is back on the attack, with its trade group launching an ad campaign aimed at rallying voters against any oil and gas taxes that lawmakers might insert into energy legislation.

The American Petroleum Institute, which represents major oil companies including BP, will run a series of 15- and 30-second television ads in 10 states beginning Tuesday.

The ads will feature Americans’ response to the potential of new oil and gas taxes.

“Americans have historically been suspicious of taxes on the industry that produces most of the energy they consume,” API President Jack Gerard said.

API had earlier waged an aggressive media campaign against Democrats’ climate change initiatives, arguing such proposals would result in the loss of industry jobs.

However, after the April 20 BP spill, the group switched to a softer paid-media approach, running spots explaining how the industry was helping BP deal with the spill.

But now that lawmakers are crafting legislation aimed at stiffening federal oversight of offshore drilling, lifting liability caps and revisiting climate change legislation, the oil industry has gone back on the offensive.

“While the focus of our industry is on helping BP stop the spill and clean up the oil, we cannot ignore the fact that imposing significant new taxes on the oil and natural gas industry will have severe economic consequences and job impacts,” Gerard said.

The spots are scheduled to run in Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maine, Missouri, Ohio and West Virginia.