“That has to be a record,” reads the subject line of a Nov. 19 fundraising e-mail from U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D.-N.M.
Yes, the 2014 election cycle is underway and Sen. Udall, seeking re-election, is trying to build some fundraising urgency, apparently based on an ad from the American Petroleum Institute (API) that calls out Udall [see video above].
The thirty-second “America Spoke” ad challenges Udall to support economic and jobs growth fueled by U.S. oil and natural gas development.
It also echoes, in some ways, the New Mexico U.S. Senate campaign that culminated Nov. 6, in which pro-energy business groups engaged in a high-dollar ad war with the environmentalist and the global climate change lobby. In that race, Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich defeated Republican Heather Wilson for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.
Could there be a high-stakes rematch brewing between the energy and the environmental lobbies in 2014 in regard to Udall’s race? Stay tuned, particularly when Udall’s likely Republican opponents emerge.
From his e-mail solicitation, it appears that Udall is acknowledging the possibilities. Although he doesn’t name the ad’s sponsor, here’s some of what Udall wrote…
“It took one special interest group a week and a half after the polls closed in New Mexico to start running an ad aimed at us. A week and a half.”
“If we’re going to organize and grow a grassroots network ready to fight back, we need to start now. Let’s raise $10,000 by November 30th to give ourselves an early start.”
“We’ll still fight to develop a new energy economy that protects our environment and fuels our future.”
It’s no surprise that API is targeting Udall, a member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), who has opposed new oil and gas development during his time in both the U.S. House and Senate.
“Sen. Tom Udall can make energy a big part of improving our economy,” states the ad. “He can choose economic growth and American jobs, not slow them with job-killing energy taxes. Let’s take advantage of America’s energy resources to power growth. American energy, not higher taxes on energy, will create jobs. Let’s get to work.”
In August New Mexico Watchdog described Udall’s energy approach as a “long record of votes opposing expanded oil and gas exploration and production in the United States.”
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who is Tom Udall’s cousin, is also the subject of an API ad.
As our sister site, Who Said Colorado, noted..
Similar videos from API, available via YouTube on The Energy Channel, call out out Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Mark Pryor, D-Ark.,….and Kay Hagan, D-N.C.
All five of those Senates seats are up in 2014, along with many others.
Bloomberg News reported last week that API “will broadcast commercials in the Washington area and in select states warning against higher taxes on producers,” particularly given the ongoing fiscal-cliff negotiations.
The videos, as well the Energy Tomorrow website, are affiliated with API, which describes itself as a “national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry—an industry which supports 9.2 million American jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy.”
In addition, National Journal reported…
“API also launched two ads supporting a pair of oil-state Democrats who have typically voted to preserve the industry’s tax breaks: Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. They are also up for reelection in 2014.”