Charts: Dirty Energy’s Election Ad Spending Spree

Hey there, swing state resident: Does this ad look familiar?

The video, which got 1.3 million views in the last two weeks, is sponsored by the American Energy Alliance. AEA, as it turns out, is one of several pro-oil and gas interest groups spending oodles of cash on campaign advertisements in 2012, according to a new analysis by Think Progress. (MoJo‘s Alyssa Battistoni gets into the weeds with—and righteously fact-checks—these ads here.)

Taken together, the AEA (which is partially funded by the Koch brothers) and others have spent at least $16.75 million in advertisements. By contrast, the Obama campaign and his super-PAC have spent a fraction of that defending his energy policies. Here’s how the money stacks up:

Mother Jones illustration.: Source: Think Progress; Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis GroupMother Jones illustration. Source: Think Progress; Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group

No wonder, then, that 5 out of 7 general election commercials airing in key swing states are about energy, according to a LA Times report citing data from the Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group.

But perhaps this doesn’t surprise you. Haven’t outside interest groups always played a role in political races, after all? But consider how much they are spending this year compared with 2008:

Mother Jones illustration.: Source: Think Progress; Wesleyan Media ProjectMother Jones illustration. Source: Think Progress; Wesleyan Media Project

As Think Progress notes, that’s a 1,600 percent jump.

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