Who is Lights On Oregon?

By Richard McCluskey of Portland, Oregon. Richard describes himself as a "radical progressive."

I am hearing ads on KPOJ for the website LightsOnOregon.com.

I am a radical progressive and even I was tempted to electronically sign the petition on their website but something is hinky here!

In these ads "Lights on Oregon" seems to be promoting alternative energy, but the text of the radio ad is mean and bullying and smells like a right-wing attack ad.

Lights on Oregon, is acting like a progressive organization promoting alternative energy when in reality they may be cynically obfuscating their true intention of promoting "tort reform" and removing our rights as individuals to challenge a wide variety of inconsiderate projects planned by major corporations in Oregon.

Some cursory web searches revealed little except for a few disturbing connections.

The website is hosted by Oregon Freedom Works.

Freedom Works nationals' highest paid fundraiser in Oregon is Kevin Mannix.

Two of Freedom Works nationals' biggest contributers are big tobacco and big pharma.

These may just be coincidences and Oregon Freedom Works working as Lights on Oregon may be sincere in their attempts to promote alternative energy but I don't think so.

  • No Mystery (unverified)

    I went to the website. It's obvious: they are just pointing out how the enviro radicals oppose ANY energy project, even the non-carbon based ones.

    Just look in yesterday's O - they LOVE wind power, just not anywhere anyone wants to build a facility.

    The campaign is about pointing out that these enviro-fundamentalists are just obstructionists.

  • Steve (unverified)

    "The campaign is about pointing out that these enviro-fundamentalists are just obstructionists."

    And fanatics who are blatant liars.

    Oppositon to the LNG terminal is a parade of falshoods and with ANWAR they are forever shoing pics where no drilling has ever been proposed. 2000 acres of frozen plain out of the 20 million acre reserve has been proposed for drilling. Meaning it would be harmless.

    Same as the LNG terminal. But that doesn't stop the fanantics from attacking the project and it's needed Natural gas we would benefit from.

    And here is Blue jumping on board with mud thrown at the organization trying to bring about sound energy policies.

  • Lefty (unverified)

    "2000 acres of frozen plain out of the 20 million acre reserve has been proposed for drilling. Meaning it would be harmless." -Steve

    This is a false statement issued by proponents of drilling ANWR. The drilling platforms would only take up 2000 acres, but the support infrastructure--roads, pipelines, shipping facilities, possible refineries, etc.--would further destroy hundreds of thousands of acres. Such support infrastructure affects an area vastly greater than its footprint.

  • Strange Bed Fellows (unverified)

    Regardless of who sponsors Lights on Oregon -- the truth of the matter is they are working on promoting renewable energy. America must stop its addiction to fossil fuels. If Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, or anyone else for that matter want to get on board with the same mission, who am I to get in the way? Let's all sign the Lights on Oregon petition and begin the process of getting off fossil fuels.

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    There are other, much more constructive ways for Oregonians to further the process of getting off fossil fuels than signing a petition underwritten by the likes of the divisive Kevin Mannix.

    Such as voting for Jeff Merkley in November.

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)

    I have heard these ads and it doesn't take someone that is politically astute to see that they are calling for more drilling. They are doing a "bait and switch" here. It is obvious and anyone that signs this petition should know better.

    If you support EVIL, just say so.

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    Wow. It's almost like this post is a honeypot for all our rightie trolls. Come out, come out, wherever you are!

  • jaybeat (unverified)

    DUCK! (sorry, Beavs fans)

    As in, if it looks, walks, talks and smells like an industry-sponsored, pro-development effort to dismantle environmental protections by promoting the completely FALSE HOPE that we can drill, dig, or otherwise resource-extract our way out of the combined problems of the increasing costs of extracting fossil fuels and the increasing pace of human-caused climate changed, well then Quack me surprised!

    ANWR is not "renewable energy." And, frankly, giant industrial-sized windfarms hundreds or thousands of miles from major markets isn't either. It's a chance for some private companies to suck some more taxpayer dollars into their own pockets. Again.

    Destroying what little is left of America's wild areas will not magically enable "energy independence" or lower the price of gas. (Besides, raising it is the only thing that will reduce CONSUMPTION--the real problem--anyway.)

    Now, if you want to talk about SUSTAINABLE energy programs that will reduce greenhouse emissions, reduce fossil fuel dependence AND make the fossil fuels we've got last longer, then we can talk. Conservation, personal (not industrial) solar and wind, subsidies for biofuels that produce more energy than they take to make in the first place (when E85 costs $2 less per gallon than Biodiesel, you know something's rotten in Denmark. Or Washington.), development and transportation policies NATIONWIDE than promote transit, bikes and walking and discourage freeways and long single-occupancy commutes, etc., etc., etc.

    But, please, don't try to lecture progressives that the only way to help our energy problems is to throw open public lands and write a blank check to huge corporations.

  • oregonian (unverified)

    ANWR? This site doesn't say anything about ANWR. This site is about RENEWABLE ENERGY. Do you support it or don't you?

  • Steve (unverified)

    "Destroying what little is left of America's wild areas"

    Can you be any more loopy?

    And lefty, as usual you blue the subtance while delivering more misinformation.

    The drilling platforms would NOT take up 2000 acres. You ignorance shines. The area designated for drilling is 2000 acres. The platforms would be loosly scattered around the 2000 acres.

    Yes a pipeline and road would be needed but your embellishment including everything imaginable is BS. There would be NO "further destroying of hundreds of thousands of acres". You just made that up or copied it from the fanatics standing in the way of progress.

    Just as the misuse of pics of ANWR are depective your pitch serves only to distort reality and obstruct a completely viable and worthy use of our own natural resources.

    Wake up and stop your lying! Here's the real story and pics. http://blog.heritage.org/2008/06/29/the-truth-about-anwr/

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    This campaign spotlights a couple of issues for me:

    First, that FreedomWorks has a real knack for taking a perfectly reasonable policy goal and comunicating it in a way that makes them come across like total pricks. This campaign is less about sustainable energy than it is about attacking the environmental movement for partisan political gain.

    Second, it underscores an important point for the environmental movement: Reasonable opposition to harmful projects is perfectly legitimate policy goal.

    However, we will need to make trade offs in pursuit of alternative energy solutions, and there are virtually no alternative energy projects that have zero negative impact. Wind in the gorge, wave energy off of the coast, hydroelectric in our rivers will all exact a certain price.

    The strategy of opposing all projects in hope that some of it sticks, which has been a strategy for some groups in the past, is not really an effective option when it comes to alternative energy solutions.

  • John Silvertooth (unverified)

    I think you will find that "Lights on Oregon" is a creation of Freedom Works, Chairman currently is Dick Armey, past GOP House majority leader.

    This is most likely a front for pro-Gordon Smith, Anti-Merkley electioneering. Freedom Works has a federal PAC.

    The Freedom Works front stole the name of "Keep the Lights on Oregon" a non-partisan committee circulating an alternative energy statewide petition with the Oregon State Grange.

    The real website is at: http://www.keepthelightsonoregon.org/

    This group has no affiliation with "Lights on Oregon" and is very upset about pirating of the name. Watch for more on this soon

    For information you can contact: Chief Petitioner John Bartels at 503-459-6489 or go to the web site (altough email answers may be slow).

    Thought you would like to know.

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    John has this pegged, and the right wing connections and agenda are very transparent. Here's a release they sent out on the ad campaign, with links to the spots themselves. It's the kind of stuff we used to call "sham issue ads":

    Campaign for Affordable and Reliable Energy (CARE) Launches Statewide Radio Blitz to Promote Sensible Energy Policy Statewide Radio Ad Campaign Begins Today; Will Continue into November PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FreedomWorks Oregon’s Campaign for Affordable and Reliable Energy (CARE) is launching a series of radio ads promoting the development of clean, affordable, and reliable sources of energy, in addition to exposing how anti-energy radicals are opposed not just to energy development, but to our modern way of life. Listen to the First Ad Listen to the Second Ad High energy prices hurt Oregon families and cost the community good paying jobs. Looking to the future, Oregon needs to have a diverse portfolio of energy choices, such as geothermal, wave, hydro, natural gas, and wind power to support long term economic growth and ease family budgets. The statewide ad buy is part of the million dollar campaign launched by FreedomWorks Oregon. The ad will hit the airwaves on Wednesday in the Portland market on 15 stations, before beginning to run in Eugene and the rest of the state later in the week. An excerpt from of the ads explains: Husband: These energy bills just keep climbing, it’s going to break our budget. There needs to be some real action developing new energy sources so were not so dang dependent on Middle East oil. Wife: Why would any company do that in Oregon, they’d be sued! Husband: What? Wife: A number of companies started investing in alternative energy and an extreme environmental group started suing and taking them to court. Wife: When a geothermal plant was proposed in Central Oregon, an environmental group took legal action to stop it, when a company wanted to develop wave energy off the Oregon coast another environmental group blocked it, and the same is true for natural gas, wind energy, and other new energy sources. Husband: These environmental groups (…) and they clearly don’t care if families like ours can pay our energy bills. The CARE campaign is part of a larger, multi-million dollar, national voter education and turnout effort by FreedomWorks to unlock domestic and emerging sources of energy for American consumers. FreedomWorks is a grassroots organization with over a half a million members nationwide and over 30,000 activists in Oregon dedicated to lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.
  • LT (unverified)

    "LightsonOregon.com is a project of FreedomWorks. " is all anyone needs to know.

    From those wonderful folks who gave us Kim Thatcher the state rep.

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    Lest anybody have any doubts about what a sham this is, it's very clear that Freedom Works nationally lobbies against renewable energy.

    Here's a few examples.

    They hide their positions via language like "free market." But when you look at the pattern it's clear. If it promotes renewable energy, it's a distortion of the free market. If it eliminates tax breaks for oil companies, it's a "tax increase" that will hamstring the development of energy.

    They oppose a bill that would require oil companies to actually use off-shore oil leases rather than stockpiling them indefinitely.


    They of course urged a no vote on the half-way climate change bill Congress tried to vote on in July (it was killed by a Republican filibuster).


    They urged a no vote on a bill last spring that would have granted new tax incentives for renewable energy, paid for by eliminating tax breaks on big oil.


    On the biggest renewable energy vote of the year in February, not surprisingly they urged a no vote.

    Here's a quote from their press release:

    With the cost of our domestic oil exploration and production increasing by nearly $10 billion every year and gas prices rising by the day, now is not the time to hamstring the American economy by mandating the use of alternative energy sources that may have only limited capabilities in today’s marketplace.

    So to take that apart, even though the oil companies are making record profits, we can't remove their tax breaks because it would hamstring the oil companies.


    Bottom line: I hope Oregon's media doesn't let the local FreedomWorks get away with their attempts to cloak their fossil fuel development campaign under the label "alternative energy." They consistently oppose renewable energy nationally.

  • Kate (unverified)

    This sounds like "Citizens for Balanced Energy Choices", who phone stalked me in April (automatic dialing and delayed person response). They wanted my name on a "petition" and it turns out they were lobbying for coal burning (I learned after I hung up on them). Doublespeak much?

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    Oregon Independent

    "This campaign is less about sustainable energy than it is about attacking the environmental movement for partisan political gain."


  • bigot (unverified)

    Will someone tell me why it matters who is sponsoring this campaign as long as we're all working towards the same goal. Have any of you actually looked at their website and seen what they're supporting? Here's a killer question, "if they don't support renewable energy," "then why the heck do you think they'd be running a campaign in favor of it...?"

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    They aren't running a campaign in favor of renewable energy. They are running an attack campaign against environmentalists.

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