The pro-wind power Budweiser ad that Anheuser-Busch will air during the Super Bowl on Sunday is being attacked by the fossil fuel industry.

The Kentucky Coal Association is among the groups attacking the Budweiser ad, which has already racked up nearly 14 million views on YouTube. Their attack was echoed by the website ClimateDepot.com, a project of a coal-backed group called the Committee for Constructive Tomorrow.

“Wind never felt better,” the Budweiser ad says. “Now brewed with wind power for a better tomorrow.”

The first volley came from the American Energy Alliance just one day after Anheuser-Busch announced the ad. It described Budweiser’s pro-wind power statement as a “joke.”

The American Energy Alliance is the “advocacy arm” of the Institute for Energy Research. Together these affiliated political groups have received millions of dollars from the Koch brothers, as well as money from the coal industry.

The attack was soon joined by Kevon Martis, an anti-wind activist with ties to the Institute for Energy Research and other groups funded by polluting industries.

Martis posted a video on Facebook in which he protested the Budweiser ad by dumping a can of the company’s beer on the ground. Martis said in the video that he is the director of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, a Michigan-based anti-wind group.

Martis did not disclose in the video that he is also a senior policy fellow for the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, a climate denial group that has also received funding from the Kochs and coal industry. Martis was also among the anti-wind activists who participated in a 2012 meeting in Washington, D.C., with representatives from powerful special interest groups funded by the fossil fuel industry.

Martis’s video claimed that he has witnessed the “social destruction” caused by wind farms across the Midwest.

A new Michigan State University poll found broad support among Michiganders for transitioning away from coal and using more wind and solar power.

Anti-wind operatives like Martis travel the country giving presentations that often claim that noise from wind turbines negatively impact human health – a claim made frequently on MasterResource.org, a blog run by the Institute for Energy Research.

“There is no authoritative evidence that sound from wind turbines represents a risk to human health among neighboring residents,” a  new study out of Iowa, a top state for wind power, confirmed this week.

Greenwich Neighbors United, an Ohio-based anti-wind group, was among those that shared Martis’s video and the American Energy Alliance’s hit piece on Budweiser’s ad. It’s an example of how messages that originate with individuals and special interest groups that have ties to the fossil fuel industry are often echoed by local anti-wind groups.

Feature photo courtesy of the Beyond Coal and Gas Image Library. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 

Posted by Dave Anderson

Dave Anderson is the policy and communications manager for the Energy and Policy Institute. Dave has been working at the nexus of clean energy and public policy since 2008. Prior to joining the Energy and Policy Institute, he was an outreach coordinator for the climate and energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He is also an alumnus of the Sierra Club and the Alliance for Climate Protection (now the Climate Reality Project). Dave’s research has helped to spur public scrutiny of political attacks on clean energy and climate science by powerful special interests, such as ExxonMobil and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). His work has been cited by major media outlets, such as CBS News and the Wall Street Journal, and he has served as a speaker on panels at national solar industry conferences. Dave holds a MA in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire, where he also received a BA in Humanities.

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