Environment group charges ABC network won't run its ad.

Are America’s media bought off by the oil and coal industries? The industries get critiqued repeatedly on the news. Nevertheless, the head of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection’s “We Can Solve It” campaign points to a media blockade and has called on the public for help.

Cathy Zoi, the campaign’s chief executive officer, in an Oct. 8 broadcast e-mail to supporters complained that three television networks, ABC, CBS and CNN, aired spots for the oil and coal industry after the Oct. 7 presidential debate, while ABC refused to air the new “We Can Solve It” ad, titled “Repower America,” which criticizes that same oil and coal lobby.

The aim of the “We Can Solve It” campaign is to switch 100 percent of America’s electricity to clean energy sources within 10 years. “To make the switch, repowering America must be a priority for our leaders. If leaders know you care, they will act,” says the campaign’s Web site.
“Did you notice the ads after the last presidential debate?” Zoi wrote. “ABC had Chevron. CBS had Exxon. CNN had the coal lobby. But you know what happened last week? ABC refused to run our “Repower America” ad that takes on this same lobby.”

The e-mail asked recipients to voice complaints about the network’s decision with the hope of the network airing the ad on the Oct. 10 broadcast of the program “20/20.”

“I sent a letter asking ABC to reconsider their decision and put our ad on the air, but still we haven’t heard back more than a week later,” Zoi wrote. “I think they need to hear from all of us. Can you help? Please send a message to ABC and tell them to air the “Repower America” ad Friday.”

The ad attacks “big oil” for spending “hundreds of millions of dollars to block clean energy” with “lobbyists, ads, even scandals.” The ad lasts 30 seconds and begins with a young girl stacking blocks, followed by a plea for wind and solar energy and ends with an attack on fossil fuel energy:
The ad ends with this statement: “Breaking big oil’s lock on our government ... Now that’s change. We’re the American people and we approve this message.”

It can be viewed on the campaign’s Web site: www.wecansolveit.org.
According to a recent Business & Media Institute study, “Global Warming Censored,” ABC “was the least egregious of the three broadcast networks on its global warming [coverage], but it still left a lot to be desired.”

The goal of Alliance for Climate Protection is “to build a movement that creates the political will to solve the climate crisis. Our mission is to persuade the American people — and people elsewhere in the world — of the importance and urgency of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis.”

Al Gore donated his $750,000 share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, which was shared equally by Gore and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Gore’s donation went to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a California-based nonprofit group. Gore is now chairman of the board of the alliance.

Rich Heffern is an NCR staff writer. His e-mail address is rheffern@ncronline.org.

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