FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, July 9, 2011
Big Oil front group tours Michigan; local affiliate used fake eviction notices
LANSING, MI- A right-wing group that fronts for the Big Oil billionaire Koch Brothers is touring seven Michigan cities this week in an effort to deceive the public about high gas prices.
The so-called non-partisan Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s Running on Empty campaign is issuing broadsides against the Obama administration as it tours Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo today, Oakland County Wednesday and Detroit and Hell, Michigan Thursday. Yesterday AFP planned to be in Traverse City and Sault Ste Marie.
The group’s local affiliate, Americans for Prosperity-Michigan, was exposed last month for circulating phony eviction notices in a southwest Detroit neighborhood as part of an effort to scare local residents in connection with the proposed New International Trade Crossing bridge in Detroit.
“Given their track record, it’s fitting that the Americans for Prosperity tour is going to Hell as they spread their lies in Michigan on behalf of the oil industry,” said David Holtz, Executive Director of Progress Michigan. “AFP is using rising gas prices as an excuse to protect their oil company donors and to launch false political attacks. Instead of peddling deceit, AFP should be telling oil companies to stop raising gas prices while making record profits at the expense of struggling Michigan families.”
Oil companies continue to receive $16 billion a year in giveaways even though they are making massive profits-Exxon’s profits jumped nearly 70% in the first part of 2011. In the past decade, the top five oil companies made nearly a trillion dollars in profits. In 2009 alone, the CEOs of five major oil companies took home almost $70 million combined.
President Obama, as part of dealing with the nation’s budget deficit, wants to end taxpayer subsidies for the oil industry. Oil conglomerate billionaires the Koch Brothers, who founded Americans for Prosperity, have pledged to spend nearly $100 million to beat President Obama and Democrats in 2012.
“Giving tax breaks to oil companies to drill is like paying the sun to rise every morning, but AFP wants to protect them for their oil company CEO donors,” said Holtz. “The truth is that these giveaways have no effect on gas prices — but they do waste taxpayer dollars. The best way to end our oil dependence is by investing in cleaner, safer sources of energy that will create millions of new jobs and never run out.”
- Link to Americans for Prosperity Michigan tour information:
- Information on Americans for Prosperity-Michigan: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20070076-503544.html
- Information on Americans for Prosperity and Koch Bros: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Americans_for_Prosperity
- $16 billion a year in oil industry tax giveaways source material here
- Record oil company profits source material: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/04/pump_pain.html
- Oil company CEO salaries: http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/03/04/174936/demint-rails-against-massive-salaries-at-pbs/
- Koch Bros political spending: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49303.html
- Information on Americans for Prosperity Running on Empty tour: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marge-baker/oil-companies-to-american_b_881516.html