The billionaire climate activist Steyer, through his NextGen Climate Action group, sought time for the ad that mockingly portrays Russ Girling, the CEO of pipeline developer TransCanada Corp., as a lying and evil oil baron.
Brian Mahar, a spokesman for Steyer’s group, said the station told the group Tuesday evening that the ad violated the guidelines because it was “an attack of a personal nature.”
The D.C. NBC station was the only outlet where the group sought to place the spot, Mahar said. Steyer took aim at the local station’s corporate parent.
“It seems that Comcast and NBCUniversal would rather take the fossil fuel industry’s $153 million in television ad spending and leave the American people in the dark about the Keystone pipeline,” he said in a statement Tuesday night.
But Matt Dempsey, a spokesman for the industry group Oil Sands Fact Check that has criticized the ad’s claims about Keystone XL, said the ad wasn't quite targeting the American people.
“It now appears this ad was simply targeting a handful of inside the beltway reporters. As a result, Steyer’s ad appears to be little more than a poorly designed publicity stunt that failed to deliver,” he said.
This post was updated at 12:22 p.m.