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Sierra Club to Blanche Lincoln: No Big Oil Bailout
Radio Spots, Banner Ads, Other Activities Launched Today

Washington, D.C.—With a Senate vote looming, the Sierra Club today launched a robust new effort to persuade Senator Blanche Lincoln to drop her support for the Big Oil bailout proposed by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski—and crafted with the help of special interest lobbyists.  The effort will include a two-week run of a new 60-second radio spot ("Blanche's Bailout") running in the Little Rock market, online banner ads, and phone calls to concerned Arkansans.  In addition, Arkansans will also be invited to participate in a tele-town hall next week to discuss Senator Lincoln's position on the Big Oil bailout and the need for her to instead support clean energy and energy independence.  You can listen to the ad here:

"Senator Lincoln needs to dump this Big Oil bailout," said Benn Davenport, Sierra Club Arkansas Representative.  "Arkansans are wondering why Senator Lincoln wants to vote to protect the profits of the richest industry in human history – all the while refusing to vote for a comprehensive climate bill that will create thousands of jobs back home.  There are billions of dollars in private investments waiting for Congress to pass a climate and energy bill.  It's time for her to support legislation that helps the clean energy businesses right here in Arkansas instead of Big Oil."

The plan Senator Lincoln supports would gut the Clean Air Act in order to protect Big Oil's profits.  It would stall important new fuel economy rules that will cut America's oil use by 1.8 billion barrels and save consumers nearly $500 a year at the gas pump. The Department of Transportation warned in a letter last week that should this Big Oil bailout pass, it "would have profoundly adverse effects on the national economy, national environmental and energy security objectives, and the economically distressed automobile manufacturing industry."  The Department of Transportation's letter can be read here.

"This Big Oil bailout might be a new low—even for Washington," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. "This assault on the Clean Air Act in order to protect Big Oil's profits is unconscionable. The Senate has not been able to do anything on energy independence, and now Senator Lincoln wants to do even less."

The Sierra Club recently finished a two-week round of radio spots ("Choosing Sides") calling on Senator Lincoln to choose between Washington special interests and the needs of her constituents.  Senator Lincoln's staff responded by citing the special interests groups supporting her efforts to bail out Big Oil by gutting the Clean Air Act.

"It was particularly disappointing to see Senator Lincoln justify her support for this Big Oil bailout by pointing to the Washington special interest groups backing her plan--the American Petroleum Institute, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other anti-science groups that are glad to trade climate security for profit," said Davenport. "She still has time to reconsider and we hope she'll dump this special interest plan benefiting the few, and instead, embrace a climate and energy bill that will help everyday Arkansans and our local clean energy businesses."   

The full script of "Blanche's Bailout," a 60-second spot appears below:

"First it was the big Wall Street banks.  Then the Detroit car companies.  Now some in the United States Senate want to bail out Big Oil.

"That's right – an industry that made billions last year.  And even as the Arkansas economy is hurting and gas prices are rising, our own Senator Blanche Lincoln is backing this Big Oil bailout.

"Senator Lincoln is co-sponsoring legislation that will protect Big Oil's profits by stalling new fuel economy rules that will cut America's oil use by nearly 2 billion barrels and save consumers nearly $500 a year at the gas pump.

"And if this wasn't bad enough, a major newspaper reports that the plan that Lincoln supports was crafted by lobbyists for Big Oil and other special interests.

"The Senate has been unable to do anything on energy independence and now Senator Lincoln wants to do even less.  

"Call Senator Lincoln at 501.375.2993 and ask her to oppose the Big Oil bailout and start making America more energy independent.

"Paid for by Sierra Club of Arkansas"

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