Manufacturing interest group runs multi-million dollar ad campaign against energy tax increase

Chris Moody Contributor
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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), one of the nation’s largest trade associations, launched a multi-state campaign Wednesday to oppose increasing energy taxes.

“Our message to Congress is very clear,” said NAM President and CEO John Engler in a statement. “At a time when unemployment remains over 9 percent, costly energy taxes will make our nation’s economic situation worse by raising costs for businesses and consumers and hurting businesses’ ability to compete in a global marketplace.”

The group is paying for a TV and radio ad campaign that will initially span across Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. Although the ads do not mention any specific tax increase proposals, the 32-second spots urge residents to call their senator to “say no to higher energy taxes.”

The group argues that a change in energy tax policy would raise costs and stifle job growth.

When asked, NAM spokesman Maureen Davenport did not highlight specific energy policies that the group is planning to target, but cited President Obama’s proposed 2010 budget, which called for a cap-and-trade style energy policy. She added that the association supports Obama’s recent call for $50 billion infrastructure spending, but oppose the idea that it should be paid for by an increase in energy taxes.

“We like the idea of infrastructure spending, we like R&D, we like expending for capital investment. Those are good,” Davenport said. “But you can’t then couple it with bad.”

The group will run the multi-million dollar campaign over the next few weeks, just in time for Congress to reconvene after summer recess.

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