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New Mexico Telegram » Ad Watch, Featured, Senate » Ad Watch: Sierra Club, Chamber of Commerce on Wilson’s energy/environmental record

Ad Watch: Sierra Club, Chamber of Commerce on Wilson’s energy/environmental record

Two new ads started airing in New Mexico this week. Both talk about Heather Wilson’s stance and votes regarding the energy sector. But the similarities end there.

The Sierra Club ad keeps up attacks by environmental groups on Wilson’s votes on MTBE, a potentially harmful chemical that companies added to gasoline to comply with government regulations on oxygenating gasoline. These are additives to gasoline that lower the amount of carbon monoxide that cars produce. Another oxygenating agent used by gas companies is ethanol (which you likely have heard more about).

In particular, the Sierra Club ad goes after a vote by Wilson to stop lawsuits against gas companies who polluted groundwater with the chemical compound.

KOB said accuses Heather Wilson of poisoning drinking water, with a bit of hyperbole. What it does is say that Wilson voted to limit the lawsuits against the companies — and points out that Wilson received campaign donations from those companies.

“When Heather Wilson allowed oil companies to put toxic chemicals into the ground, she was allowing it to go into our kids,” the ad says.

The Chamber of Commerce ad is something completely different. The massive business lobbying organization praises Wilson’s votes on energy.

The ad cites Wilson’s stance on the Keystone XL pipeline and says that Wilson will “fight to make sure that New Mexico has the energy it needs.”

The ad is a positive spot from the Chamber of Commerce and echoes a line from an American Crossroads ad. The Chamber ad says Wilson is “n independent voice to get New Mexico working again” while American Crossroads said Wilson is “an independent voice for change.”

Clearly the two groups know that Wilson needs the support of Democrats and decline to state (or independent) voters in New Mexico if she has a chance of beating Martin Heinrich.

The bottom line is that right now there is a battle going on over Wilson’s image among voters. Environmental groups want to paint Wilson as an enabler of the big oil companies, while conservative groups want to say Wilson is a friend of energy producers.

It will be an interesting dynamic to watch going forward, and it appears that the environment and energy are the focuses of the top-tier Senate race.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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