Oil industry trade group takes to D.C. airwaves

American Petroleum Institute defends tax incentives in ad blitz

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A recently released advertisement from the American Petroleum Institute says "new energy taxes" are "not a good idea," "short-sighted" and "definitely going to kill some jobs."

The trade group has spent $76,700 touting this message on the Washington, D.C., Fox affiliate during the past two weeks, according to records filed by the station with the Federal Communications Commission.

That sum has purchased 61 television spots, the documents indicate — all during morning, evening or late-night news programs.

The two advertisements on Fox News Sunday alone set the American Petroleum Institute back $10,000 a piece.

The ads hit as lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been debating fiscal measures, including the tax incentives given to the oil and gas industry. This week, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives both passed a short-term budget deal, but budgetary fights remain in Congress' future.

The American Petroleum Institute is the main trade organization of the oil and natural gas industry and a powerful lobbying force. Its membership includes more than 500 companies, including major oil companies like ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron and Shell Oil, as well as smaller suppliers and pipeline operators.

In recent years, its annual budget has been in the $170 million to $200 million range, Internal Revenue Service documents indicate. In 2012 alone, it spent more than $7 million on federal lobbying, according to records filed with the U.S. Senate.

In 2010, the group also established a political action committee. According to records filed with the Federal Election Commission this week, its PAC has raised $36,800 so far this year and doled out $2,000 to federal lawmakers: $1,000 a piece to Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who won't stand for re-election until 2016.