McCain has flip-flopped his position on offshore drilling, pandered to the oil companies, and embraced the exact same strategy endorsed by the man McCain is trying so hard to run away from — President Bush. He must have a damn good policy reason:
“Tomorrow I’ll call for lifting the federal moratorium for states that choose to permit exploration,” McCain said. “I think that this and perhaps providing additional incentives for states to permit exploration off their coasts would be very helpful in the short term in resolving our energy crisis.”
Short-term? If only the facts supported that position. If only the man who wants to be the next president bothered to check the analysis by the current president’s own energy analysts.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently did a detailed study of the likely outcome of offshore drilling for their Annual Energy Outlook 2007, “Impacts of Increased Access to Oil and Natural Gas Resources in the Lower 48 Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).” The sobering conclusion:
The projections in the OCS access case indicate that access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.
And the impact of the projected 7% (!) increase in lower-48 oil production that might result in 2030 thanks to opening the OCS is … wait for it …
… any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.
Yes, the man who would be president has sold out his principles to garner support from the oil industry while achieving no benefit to the American gasoline-consuming public whatsoever even a quarter century from now!
To paraphrase Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons:
So what price is McCain getting for auctioning off his principles?
The Center for American Progress Action Fund explained yesterday:
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is heading to Texas today for a series of fundraisers with the Texas GOP elite <http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Calendar/Detail.aspx?guid=ea0c0b28-5a8d-4f2f-b642-d46465d2a7fd> in Dallas <http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Calendar/Detail.aspx?guid=b795adfe-23da-467f-a59d-e31b8d384375> , San Antonio <http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Calendar/Detail.aspx?guid=6a98219e-bbb7-4cb9-9898-f46847a3005c> , and <http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Calendar/Detail.aspx?guid=a3377b3d-3105-4bc9-a07c-a6da69bd9c64> Houston <http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Calendar/Detail.aspx?guid=76734400-6e7a-4795-af48-7c05710c9c27> .
Wedged between the multiple money events will be a speech in Houston, which McCain has indicated will be on energy policy. Yesterday, McCain told reporters that he will call for <http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjVhZjQ1NGRjNTZjM2MzMDk4YTRmMjRmZjY3YzNiMjI=> :
— Lifting the federal moratorium on off-shore drilling <http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/images/stories/Documents/truth_about_americas_energy.pdf> established by President George H.W. Bush,
— Providing incentives <http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/04/21/mccain-nuke-subsidies/> to states to commence off-shore drilling, and
— Suspending the gas tax <http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/04/18/mccain-vs-gastax/> .
This suite of proposals adds up to a big fat kiss to Big Oil and its conservative allies — at the expense of everyone else. Unrestrained fossil fuel use <http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/04/25/big-oil-future/> delivers obscene profits for Big Oil but is a threat to the planet <http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/06/10/global-boiling-signs/> . McCain’s strong talk <http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/05/12/mccain-warming-both-ways/> on global warming is proving unserious — much as candidate Bush’s campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide in 2000 turned out to be false <http://thinkprogress.org/2006/07/07/co2-pledge/> . At the very same press briefing, McCain backtracked <http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/6/16/124515/466> from his vaunted mandatory system to reduce greenhouse gases.
Strapped for cash and surrounded by Big Oil lobbyists, McCain is now embracing Bush’s Exxon-Halliburton energy policy <http://action.foe.org/t/4027/pressRelease.jsp?press_release_KEY=382> . Although a “megabucks” fundraiser with Midland Texas oilmen was postponed <http://thinkprogress.org/2008/06/15/mccain-event-with-fundraiser-who-joked-about-rape-has-been-postponed-not-canceled/> , pledged donations have already raked in $1.5 million <http://www.mywesttexas.com/articles/2008/06/15/news/top_stories/doc4855134f3c4c5977465576.txt> . Midland County GOP Chair Sue Brannon told the Midland Reporter-Telegram what will happen at the postponed fundraiser, “When the 15 oilmen giving big time money <http://www.mywesttexas.com/articles/2008/06/15/news/top_stories/doc4855134f3c4c5977465576.txt> meet with McCain, all we’ll ask is that he be fair.” The millions McCain is raising in Texas will be added to his impressive haul of oil industry cash this campaign season — 65 percent <http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/06/04/polluter-mccain-cash/> of his lifetime receipts:
1990 to 2008 cycle (April), Center for Responsive Politics, compiled by Center for American Progress Action Fund.
According to a Campaign Money Watch analysis of campaign finance data provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics Center, John McCain and his leadership committee have accepted at least $1,069,854 <http://mccainsource.com/corruption?id=0014> from the oil and gas industry since 1989. Despite his mediagenic opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, McCain’s voting record on energy policy has been consistently friendly to Big Oil — and since his campaign for president began last year, he’s been steadfast:
McCAIN’S RECORD OF CODDLING BIG OIL.
— McCain Voted Against Reducing Dependence on Foreign Oil. In 2005, McCain voted against legislation calling on the President to submit a plan to reduce foreign petroleum imports by 40 percent. [Senate Roll Call Vote #140, 6/16/05 <http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00140> ; DNC 6/22/07 <http://www.democrats.org/a/2007/06/bush_republican_1.php> ]
— Candidate McCain’s “Zero” For Energy Future, Billions For Big Oil. Since launching his campaign for president in 2007, Sen. McCain has skipped out on every key environmental vote the Senate has considered, earning him a zero on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard this session. In one such instance, his absence killed the rollback of billions of dollars in oil subsidies for renewable energy investment. [LCV 2008 <http://capwiz.com/lcv_stage/bio/keyvotes/?id=192&congress=1102&lvl=C> ]
— McCain’s Absence Allows GOP to Filibuster Oil-For-Renewables. By a roll call vote of 59-40 on December 13, 2007, Senate Democrats failed to muster the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster threatened by Republicans of compromise energy legislation with an oil-for-renewable tax package. The tax package rolled back $12.7 billion in tax breaks on the oil and gas industry to invest in renewable energy tax credits. Sen. John McCain, on the campaign trail, was the one senator not voting. [CQ 12/12/07 <http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=1&docID=cqmidday-000002641110> ] [Vote #425 12/13/07 <http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00425> ]
–McCain’s Tax Policies A Boon For Big Oil. Sen. McCain’s plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent is worth $1.2 billion a year to Exxon Mobil alone. In addition, his plan includes a massive new corporate tax shelter. His call for a gas tax suspension would funnel money — about $11 billion — to oil refiners and producers. [CAPAF 3/27/08 <http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2008/pdf/oil_tax.pdf> , 4/18/08 <http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/04/18/mccain-vs-gastax/> ]
BIG OIL LOBBYISTS RUN McCAIN CAMPAIGN.
At least fourteen Big Oil lobbyists <http://mccainsource.com/corruption?id=0014> hold top positions in the McCain campaign, including his top adviser, Charlie Black.
— McCain’s Senior Adviser Lobbies For Foreign Oil Interests. Charlie Black (lobbying firm: BKSH), McCain’s senior campaign adviser, is a registered lobbyist for two Russian oil companies — Yukos Oil and Occidental International Corporation — and his lobbying firm was hired in 2005 by the China National Off-Shore Oil Corporation. [Roll Call 7/18/05, Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records <http://soprweb.senate.gov/index.cfm?event=choosefields> ]
— McCain’s Campaign Liaison to Congress a Million-Dollar Big-Oil Lobbyist. John Green (Ogilvy Government Relations) — the “full-time liaison between McCain’s presidential campaign and Republicans in the House and the Senate” — has made over $7.6 million dollars since 1999 lobbying for petro-industry giants such as Amerada-Hess, Chevron Texaco, the American Petroleum Institute, Reliant Energy, PJM Interconnection and First Energy. [Politico 3/4/08 <http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0308/8814.html> , Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records <http://soprweb.senate.gov/> ]
— Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Everywhere in the McCain Campaign. Frank Donatelli, McCain’s RNC liaison to the Republican Party, has lobbied for ExxonMobil, Dominion, and Eastman Chemical. Jerry Kilgore, co-chairman of McCain’s Virginia campaign, has lobbied for Shell Oil and coal company Alpha Natural Resources. Nancy Pfotenhauer, a policy adviser and spokeswoman, has lobbied for Koch Industries. [Washington Post 3/12/08 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/11/AR2008031103134.html> , O’Dwyer’s 8/9/06 <http://184.108.40.206/search?q=cache:XBgalxiFNIIJ:www.odwyerpr.com/members/washington_report/2006/0809loeffler.htm> , Media Matters 2/26/08 <http://mediamatters.org/items/200802260009> , Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records <http://soprweb.senate.gov/> ]
So remind me again how exactly would McCain not be a Bush third term?
- President McCain pushes offshore drilling in support of presumptive GOP nominee Bush …
- McCain energy bombshell: More oil + dirty coal. That’s Bush-lite, crude, and not sweet.
- Memo to media: McCain doubletalks to woo conservatives and independents at the same time
- On energy policy, is better than Bush enough?
- McCain, NOT the candidate of change, says no to Boxer-L-W without giga-subsidies for nukes
- Speech, Part 4: Will McCain bring conservatives with him on climate? As if!
- Climate speech, part 3: John McCain loves big government
- McCain speech, Part 2: Relying on offsets = Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic
- Speech, Part 1: Anti-wind McCain delivers climate remarks at foreign wind company
- McCain reveals cynicism, hypocrisy with call for summer gas-tax holiday, energy budget freeze
- Campaign stunner: McCain “might take [new CAFE standards] off the books”
- McCain’s non-straight talk on nuclear power
- McCain opposes ‘mandatory’ carbon limits
- No climate for old men: Why John McCain isn’t the candidate to stop global warming
- McCain’s Double-Talk Express on Global Warming