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A new player is about to enter the Great Energy Debate in Oregon.
FreedomWorks, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative advocacy group whose Oregon director is vice chairman of the state's Republican Party, announced Tuesday that it is launching a campaign to promote "development of clean, affordable and reliable sources of energy" in the state.
From the announcement, it appears that another goal of the campaign will be to attack what FreedomWorks calls "anti-energy extremists."
In a statement, Russ Walker, FreedomWorks Oregon director, said the organization intended to expose "how anti-energy radicals are opposed not just to energy development but to our modern way of life."
FreedomWorks also released the results of a poll conducted July 26-29 by Moore Information. In it, solid majorities of Oregonians said they favored energy independence, construction of large wave-energy farms in marine reserves off the coast and development of large wind-energy farms "in scenic or wildlife sensitive areas in Oregon."
More than two-thirds of poll respondents also said they believe that environmental groups "can be unfair and unreasonable in their efforts to stop energy development" and that they are unwilling to pay $6 a gallon or more for gas to protect the environment.
In an interview, Walker said his organization will spend more than $1 million between now and December conducting a campaign on energy issues in Oregon.
He said one goal of the campaign was to inform Oregonians about how "extremist environmental groups" have attempted to block energy developments such as wind farms that have the support of "mainstream environmental groups."