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Electrification Coalition Readies Post-Recess Ad Campaign

The Electrification Coalition is launching a quarter-million-dollar television, print and Internet ad buy Monday in anticipation that the energy debate will heat up once Congress returns.

Called “Sideview Mirror,” the ad features footage of long lines to buy gas, oil sheiks and a burning desert next to a military tank.

“It doesn’t have to be this way; our economy or our values; energy or security,” a narrator says in the ad. “The promise of electric vehicles … The past is behind us; let’s move forward.”

The ads, which will run on cable television and during the Sunday shows and in inside-the-Beltway publications such as Roll Call, are slated to run for one week. But the coalition’s president and CEO, Robbie Diamond, said the group could expand the buy depending on how the discussion on energy legislation unfolds.

“We’re moving with the debate,” Diamond said. “Right now, we’re doing next week.”

The coalition is a group of business leaders including John Chambers of Cisco Systems, Fred Smith of FedEx Corp. and Carlos Ghosn of Nissan Motor Co. The coalition also lobbies Congress, and it has had victories in the past couple of months with Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introducing an electric vehicle bill at the end of May. Diamond said his group expects the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to mark up the bill in the coming weeks

The group has done three similar-sized ad buys this summer.

“Clearly the energy debate is going to heat up in the United States Senate,” Diamond said. “Electrification represents the only response to fundamentally change our oil dependence and to reduce it.”

“We want to make sure in any piece of legislation that moves forward that there are strong provisions to reduce oil dependence,” he added.

The Electrification Coalition’s ads come nearly a week after another coalition, Clean Energy Works, launched an ad campaign designed to counter the oil and gas industry’s public relations offensive. Those ads challenge an American Petroleum Institute ad saying that new oil and gas taxes are a bad idea.

The American Values Network has also been running ads pushing for climate change bills that target Sarah Palin. The Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, Vote Vets and other supporters of climate change bills have also been running ads targeting Senators such as Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

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