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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 23, 2010

Contact: Kristina Johnson

(541) 914-9744

Kristina.johnson@sierraclub.org

www.paidforbybigoil.org

Sierra Club Launches "Paid for By Big Oil" Animated Twitter Site to Track Polluters' Influence on Politicians, Respond to GOP Pledge

Washington, D.C. - As the GOP releases its "Pledge to America," including a pledge to continue bowing to Big Oil and fighting clean energy, the Sierra Club has launched a new web tool, www.paidforbybigoil.org, to track and publicize outrageous statements made by politicians about Big Oil and other polluters, and connecting those statements to campaign contributions they receive. The comments of candidates will be visible as animated oil slicks with an off-shore drilling platform in the background, and as a twitter feed @paidforbybigoil.

The GOP Pledge, written in part by a former Exxon lobbyist, is out of step with America and completely in line with polluting corporations.  It reads in part:

-"We will fight to increase access to domestic energy sources." (Meaning more of the offshore drilling that caused the BP disaster).

-"Oppose attempts to impose a national "cap and trade" energy tax." (Their cynical scare tactic to mask their opposition to the clean energy solutions and corresponding jobs that Big Oil won’t let them support). 

-"Move immediately to cancel unspent "stimulus" funds, and block any attempts to extend the timeline for spending stimulus funds." (An attempt to block investment in clean energy jobs).

"The Republican's pledge falls exactly in line with the agenda of Big Oil and Coal and their trade groups," said Sierra Club Political Director Cathy Duvall."Rather than present new ideas and fight for the clean energy solutions the majority of Americans support, the GOP is hoping for one more refrain of "drill baby drill."   This is why we’ve created PaidforbyBigOil. We want to show just what exactly is spilling from the mouths of Big Oil and the candidates they support."   

"According to dirtyenergymoney.org, polluting energy companies have already contributed more than $14 million to political candidates this cycle, and that doesn’t count the huge amounts of unregulated money they can spend on advertising themselves," Duvall said. "This may explain why some politicians are willing to defend giant, unpopular oil companies like BP. We've heard Big Oil-backed politicians say we should let BP off the hook or we should get back to drilling before we find out what went wrong in the Gulf Coast.  We've seen an increase in the number of candidates engaged in the kind denial of science on global warming that Exxon paid Competitive Enterprise Institute to do.  These politicians have been advocating for polluters while fighting clean energy measures that would save Americans money and protect our health." 

Some examples of the kinds of outrageous statements highlighted on www.paidforbybigoil.org:

-GOP Pledge--pg 16 "we promise to talk to oil lobbyists before creating any new regulations"

-GOP Pledge--pg 43, "we promise there will be no climate bill to reduce reliance on coal and oil"

-Joe Barton (R-TX) apologizing to BP: "I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown."

-Lyndsey Graham (R-SC) on massive toxic tar sands oil pits: "Once you get in the site, it's just massive . . . It's a kind of industrial ballet up here."

-James Inhofe (R-OK): "let's start exploiting the resources we have in America so that we can be energy independent, and quit worrying about all this green stuff..."

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