Tell NBC: Stop silencing Keystone XL critics

CREDO action
Tell NBC: Stop censoring the truth about the Keystone XL pipeline

The petition reads:
"To executives at NBC Universal and NBC affiliate WRC: Stop censoring ads that oppose TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline."

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Dear 5849376,

Stop KeystoneXL

Outrageous. NBC has been running ads by a foreign oil company promoting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline but refused to run a powerful ad debunking Big Oil propaganda and urging President Obama to stand up for climate.1

The rejected ad,2 which had already been paid for and was yanked at the last minute, was scheduled to run in the Washington DC area during President Obama's appearance last night with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show.

Tell NBC: Stop censoring ads opposing the Keystone XL pipeline to appease your Big Oil advertisers.

NBC affiliate WRC claimed that the ad, produced by NextGen Climate Action, violated its guidelines which state that it "may reject" an ad if "it is merely an attack of a personal nature, a direct attack on an individual business or a comment on a private dispute."3

But NBC has been running misleading ads by the fossil fuel industry on station after station and burying Washington DC decision makers with pro-pipeline propaganda. The rejected ad is clearly not "merely" a personal attack on an individual or a business. TransCanada is a foreign oil company that has spent tens of millions of dollars -- including on television ads -- to insert itself into the heart of the U.S. policy making on one of the most pressing issues of our generation, climate change.

It is unacceptable for the network to disingenuously exploit this policy, which is meant to protect individuals from spurious attacks, in order to block messaging from climate change activists that counter TransCanada's false claims.

Tell NBC: Stop censoring ads opposing the Keystone XL pipeline to appease your Big Oil advertisers.

Our campaign to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and hold the president accountable for his promise to take meaningful action on climate is making real progress.

Just last Friday, the news broke that the State Department's Inspector General had launched an investigation into the contractor that drafted the controversial environmental analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline.4

The investigation follows an article in Mother Jones reporting that the contractor, ERM, had ties to both TransCanada (the foreign company that wants to build the proposed pipeline) and the powerful oil lobby the American Petroleum Institute.5

And two weeks ago the president had strong words countering TransCanada's pro-pipeline propaganda, telling the New York Times, "we're talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.6"

The president went on to say that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline "does not bring down gas prices here in the United States. In fact, it might actually cause some gas prices in the Midwest to go up."

These statements, combined with a resurgence of grassroots activism opposing approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, have put TransCanada and those who place Big Oil's interests before those of the American people on the defensive. Over 70,000 Americans have signed a Pledge of Resistance7 (organized by CREDO Action with our allies at Rainforest Action Network and The Other 98%) to risk arrest to block approval of the pipeline. And anti-Keystone XL actions are erupting every week in communities across the nation.

We can't let them silence us as they strike back at our efforts to hold the president accountable on this issue.

Tell NBC: Stop censoring ads opposing the Keystone XL pipeline to appease your Big Oil advertisers.

The forces arrayed against us are powerful. They are spending tens of millions of dollars. Hiring legions of lobbyists. Controlling politicians at nearly every level of government. But with your grassroots pressure -- including those people who have been putting their bodies on the line -- we've been able to stop them from building this pipeline that would mean "game over" for our climate.

We need to fight TransCanada and Big Oil at every turn. A massive response to NBC and its affiliate in Washington DC will help ensure that any other media outlet will think twice before trying to censor our messages.

Please join me in taking action now.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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Learn more about this campaign

1. Rebecca Leber, "After Airing Pro-Keystone XL Ads, NBC Station Rejects Ad Opposing The Pipeline," Think Progress, August 7, 2013.
2. NextGen Climate Action KeystoneXL Commercial, Youtube.
3. NBC Universal Advertising Guildines PDF,
4. Zack Colman, "State Dept. watchdog launches inquiry into Keystone environmental report," The Hill, August 2, 2013.
5. Andy Kroll, "State Dept. Hid Contractor's Ties to Keystone XL Pipeline Company," Mother Jones, March 21, 2013.
6. The New York Times Interview with President Obama, The New York Times, July 27, 2013.
7. Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance, CREDO Action.

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