Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, told E&E Daily that it “can’t compete with Big Oil in terms of campaign cash…” Indeed, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group with strong ties to the oil and gas industry, recently launched a $6 million ad campaign. The ad attempted to fault Obama for the failure of Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer that received a $535 million loan guarantee under the government stimulus package only to go belly up last August.

As ABC News’s Jake Tapper explained, “The ad contains claims that are not tethered to facts” and served only to “muddy the waters.” The Obama re-election campaign pushed back with its own ad, “foreshadowing an energy-centric campaign,” according to InsideClimate News. But the president’s State-of-the-Union plea for a clean energy standard and other tax incentives to promote renewables faces an uphill battle. Despite the fact that the cost of wind and solar has fallen in recent years, “there is little enthusiasm for alternative-energy subsidies in Washington,” an article on the front-page of The New York Times’s Business section reported Friday.

Obama’s GOP rivals criticized his decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, but since then they’ve been more preoccupied with arguing among themselves about moon colonies than challenging the president’s energy proposals. But rest assured, there’s a lot more debate about the president’s energy policy proposals to come—and a lot more spin. National and local reporters did a fairly good job this week covering the play-by-play. Let’s hope that continues.

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Curtis Brainard is the editor of The Observatory, CJR's online critique of science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.