Koch-backed group takes aim at Obama green-energy policies with $6.1M ad buy

Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative group funded partially by the billionaire Koch brothers, unveiled a $6.1 million advertising campaign Thursday that knocks President Obama over green-energy spending.

The minute-long television advertisement, which will run in eight battleground states, alleges that the administration sunk billions of dollars into renewable energy projects that created jobs in foreign countries.

“American taxpayers are paying to send their own jobs to foreign countries,” the ad says. “Tell President Obama American tax dollars should help American taxpayers.”

AFP said it was the most the group has ever spent on a single advertisement.

The ad will run for two weeks in the swing states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Virginia

The advertisement raises the stakes in the ongoing fight between conservatives and the Obama White House over energy. Amid high gasoline prices that threaten to take a political toll on both Democrats and Republicans, the GOP has pummeled Obama’s energy agenda.

The Obama administration has launched an aggressive counter-offensive over energy, casting its critics as pawns of the oil industry.

Obama’s campaign immediately blasted the AFP advertisement Thursday.

“While the president fights every day to build an economy where everybody gets a fair shot and does their fair share, special interests across the country are mobilizing to buy the election for Governor Romney to try to promote their interests over the interests of the American people,” Ben LaBolt, the campaign's press secretary, said in a statement.

The advertisement released Thursday, among other things, blasts the administration for issuing a loan to Fisker Automotive, a company that manufactured its $100,000 Karma vehicle in Finland. 

The Energy Department granted Fisker a $529 million loan in 2010. A portion of the loan, $169 million, supported U.S. engineering and design work for the Karma, which is manufactured in Finland.

Republicans have pounced on the loan, arguing it supported jobs in Finland, rather than the United States. But the Energy Department has said critics are misunderstanding the loan, arguing it backed U.S.-based engineers who developed the tools, equipment and manufacturing processes for the vehicle.
The AFP ad marks the latest attack by the group on Obama’s energy policies.

AFP spent $6 million on television ads in January hitting Obama over Solyndra, the failed solar panel maker that received a $535 million loan guarantee in 2009.

Obama used his first campaign advertisement to undercut AFP’s claims about Solyndra.

“Secretive oil billionaires [are] attacking President Obama with ads fact-checkers say are not tethered to the facts, while independent watchdogs call this president’s record on ethics unprecedented,” the campaign said in a January advertisement, referencing the AFP ads.