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Tell Congress to Ban Fossil Fuel Advertising
In 1970, six years after the U.S. surgeon general released a report showing that smoking was lethal, Congress banned tobacco ads on TV and radio. President Nixon made it the law of the land.
In the same decade, a scientist at Exxon told executives that burning their oil was warming the planet. But Exxon hid this vital information for decades, jeopardizing the planet’s future for profit.
Now, many years later, everyone knows that extracting and burning oil, gas, and coal is dooming life on Earth. One study estimated that eight million people died from fossil fuel pollution in 2018, nearly one-fifth of the world’s deaths that year.
And yet, fossil fuel companies are still free to mislead the public through advertising today in the United States. Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and the rest of the Big Oil companies frequently pop up in commercial breaks. And in fact, corporate and legacy media companies rake in cash by creating ads and sponsored content for the industry, greenwashing its deadly pollution.
It’s past time that Congress takes another stand, like it did more than 50 years ago, against ads that promote deadly products. I join the OptOut Media Foundation in urging Congress to pass a bill banning fossil fuel advertising in TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, online, and any other medium. Climate change is too urgent not to do this today.
Why is this important?
Every day, fossil fuel companies launder their reputations through ads and sponsored content that mislead the public about the true cost of their products. The U.N. has been very clear about the danger that fossil fuels pose to the future of our species and the planet. We must ban fossil fuel ads today if we're to have any chance at fighting climate change.