Just in time for the Fourth of July, an alliance of environmentalists is urging Americans to declare their independence from Big Oil.
The three progressive organizations behind a national campaign to take down Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) over its fossil fuel-dependent business model are back this week with “Exxon Hates America,” a satirical commercial blasting the oil giant over billions of dollars in subsidies the groups say it receives from the federal government.
The 30-second spot features a faux-ExxonMobil executive boasting to the American people that Uncle Sam is powerless against its massive power and influence. “Sure, oil hurts communities and endangers the planet,” the actor says. “But the truth is, you can’t stop us from drilling. Why? Because we own the government.”
According to Fortune’s Global 500 for 2013, ExxonMobil is the world’s most profitable company, with $44.9 billion in profits in 2012. The company has long denied that tax breaks for oil companies amount to federal subsidies and, in fact, it says oil companies are subsidizing the federal government.
The new commercial was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday and was viewed more than 9,500 times in the first 24 hours. It was produced by Oil Change International and Environmental Action, along with the Other 98%, an advocacy group that aims to combat economic injustice. With the help of a crowdfunding campaign, the groups are seeking to raise $20,000 to purchase airtime and run the spot nationally over the holiday weekend.
The commercial is a follow-up to last year’s “Exxon Hates Your Children,” in which the groups claimed that allowing oil companies to damage the environment was tantamount to selling out our children’s future. In February 2013, the groups had planned to run the ad on Fox News Channel in Houston, but ExxonMobil struck back, sending a cease-and-desist letter to Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) asking that the ad not run. Comcast complied.
A spokeswoman for the oil giant told International Business Times at the time that the ad failed to “meet any basic standards of accuracy.”
You can watch the full commercial “Exxon Hates America” here.