Ad Touts Obama's Energy Record, Swipes at 'Secretive Oil Billionaires'

But What Actually Reduced Dependence on Foreign Oil?

By Published on .

In Obama for America's first ad of the new year -- and just ahead of the State of the Union address--the campaign goes with the president's record on energy policy. And rather than shy away from the Solyndra fiasco, it opens with it, saying that the story is being pushed by "secretive oil billionaires" playing fast and loose with the facts. And then things get interesting. (Don't know how I missed it, but someone in the office pointed out that "secretive oil billionaires" is code for the Koch family.)

After touting ethics and a growing clean-energy workforce, the ad notes this interesting factoid:

For the first time in 13 years, our dependence on foreign oil is below 50%.
Now, this statement is a fact. And the ad is careful enough to avoid saying Barack Obama is responsible for this reduction. And he isn't. The main reason dependence on foreign oil is below 50% is that those "oil billionaires" (even the secretive ones) have ramped up production in the U.S. as technology has improved.

Clean-energy progress is a good thing. Being less dependent on foreign oil is a good thing. And smacking around oil executives in an ad is a smart strategy when coaxing money out of Democratic donors. But keep in mind, oil and gas companies "support" 9.2 million jobs, according to the American Petroleum Institute (which, yes, has its own agenda). That's a lot of voters.

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