Submitted by Sheldon Rampton on
An industry front group best known for opposing the BTU tax (an energy tax based on consumption) in the 1990s has resurfaced in New Mexico, where it's running radio ads attacking congressman Tom Udall for his opposition to oil drilling. According to Time magazine, the American Energy Alliance was created in 1993 when the National Manufacturers Association "got together with the American Petroleum Institute, 1,600 large companies, small businesses and farmers to form ... a group designed solely to defeat the BTU tax. The coalition paid more than $1 million to Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm, to deploy nearly 45 staff members in 23 states during the past two months. Burson's goal was to drum up as much grass-roots outrage about the BTU tax as possible and direct it at the swing Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee." Matthew Reichbach, who reported on the group's current attacks on Udall, noted that "Information on the group is hard to come by. There are no online Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filings, no Internal Revenue Service filings and no way to contact the group."