Ensign and energy

The National Taxpayers Union, a lobby group funded by the tobacco industry (principally Philip Morris), ran a full-page advertisement in the Dec. 20 Reno Gazette-Journal praising U.S. Sen. John Ensign of Nevada for “opposing billions in new taxes on energy. Earlier this month, Congress attempted to raise taxes on energy by $21 billion. Thanks to the leadership of Sen. John Ensign, the Senate rejected these new energy taxes, which would have been devastating to our economy.”

The ad neglected to identify the legislation at issue. An inquiry to the NTU brought the information that the ad referred to House Resolution 6, the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.” However, after surveying more than a hundred news reports on the measure, we were unable to find any reference to an Ensign leadership role. Once again we queried NTU, whose press aide Pete Sepp said of Ensign, “He was one of a handful of Republicans and Democrats, along with Senators Gregg, Landrieu, and Kyl, who, in caucusing with their colleagues, managed to gather enough votes in the Senate to uphold a [possible] presidential veto of the legislation when it contained the $20 billion+ in tax increases.”

There is no independent verification of this account.