FreedomWorks, the sister organization to the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP), has launched a new website and advertising campaign to convince American voters that the Obama administration and the EPA are out to destroy American jobs.
FreedomWorks has been instrumental in creating the Tea Party in America, bankrolling the so-called “grassroots” group and fueling their hatred against the Obama administration by spreading false information. In addition to early funding from the Kochs, FreedomWorks (formerly called Citizens for a Sound Economy) has also received funding from the tobacco industry.
The advertising campaign is prevalent on Facebook, with the ad seen above appearing on numerous user pages. But there’s a problem with the current ad – FreedomWorks didn’t take the time to check their work, resulting in the ad directing interested users to an invalid web address. Clicking on the Facebook link takes you to “EPAKillJobs.com,” instead of “EPAKillsJobs.com.” There’s no telling how many confused conservatives attempted to visit the site, only to receive an error message.
After realizing the mistake, and visiting the correct misinformation site, users are greeted with a giant banner that reads “THE EPA KILLS JOBS.” After being blinded with that blatantly false information, users can either “GET THE FACTS” or download FreedomWorks’ materials. The “FACTS” section actually provides no facts or statistics of any kind, and instead urges users to “stand with” noted climate change denier and the dirty energy industry’s favorite shill, Senator James Inhofe.
The downloaded materials provide a better understanding of what the group is actually trying to say:
1. New taxes that will impact thousands of businesses—large and small…By increasing complicated regulatory standards, the EPA is hitting American businesses with a brand new tax. Facilities ranging from factories to churches that can’t afford to upgrade their equipment would be forced to close!
2. Massive new regulatory taxes on electricity…Expensive new standards targeting coal fired power plants—the source of most of the nation’s electricity—would raise costs for consumers and businesses. Billions in new costs would be passed on to energy consumers and the energy security of millions of Americans would be put in serious jeopardy!
3. Costly new regulations on cement plants…Our nation’s cement plants are perhaps in the most precarious position due to the EPA’s aggressive new regulatory agenda. A recent Southern Methodist University study estimated in excess of 15% of plants would be forced to close, costing thousands of jobs, raising costs, and dramatically hurting investments in U.S. infrastructure.
4. New restrictions effecting common household products and materials…The EPA wants to re-define coal ash as a hazardous material. In doing so, they will eliminate the use of this product in the making of many things we rely on including building materials like cement and drywall – in turn, driving up the cost of these products!
5. New regulations on emissions that would force many communities to impose costly new restrictions on consumers and small businesses…New ozone standards would put many out of reach, triggering extensive new regulations that would have sweeping and devastating new economic consequences affecting virtually all consumers and businesses, with new standards for everything from car tailpipes to factory smokestacks—and everything in between.
Interestingly enough, these points provide no specific examples, no sources, and no links to help illustrate or back up their points. And there’s a reason for that – these talking points can’t be backed up.
The clean air standards that the EPA has put in place – as required by the U.S. Supreme Court – also create jobs for our economy.
In fact, the only people who would pay the price for any of the issues mentioned in FreedomWorks’ material is the dirty energy industry, not small businesses and churches, as they tell us.
But that’s what front groups like this are for – promoting the goals and visions of polluters by claiming the issue affects the average, working class American.
The reality is that not enforcing regulations would have a dramatic effect on Americans – on our health, our livelihoods, and our environment. Enforcing these rules just means healthier living and a few less dollars in the pockets of energy industry CEOs.