McCain Panders To Big Oil, Calls For Drilling Subsidies

John McCain speaks to supporters Tuesday, June 17, 2008 in Houston.Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has made his principled opposition to earmarks, pork, and federal subsidies well known. Based on those principles, he has:

Opposed subsidies for alternative fuels like ethanol.

Blocked tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Opposed legislation to protect the Everglades.

Mocked funding for research on threatened species.

Yesterday in Houston, he put aside his principles, in favor of off-shore oil and natural gas drilling. After calling for lifting the federal moratorium on off-shore drilling, he said:

And in states that choose to permit exploration, there must be an appropriate sharing of benefits between federal and state governments.

He provided the translation for “appropriate sharing of benefits” in a press briefing previewing his speech:

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.

McCain has previously made clear his anti-pork principles also do not apply to federal support for nuclear power. In that case, it’s not “subsidies” — it’s “leveling” the playing field for a “vital” industry. Funny how McCain’s principles hold strong in opposition to clean energy and the environment but don’t apply to the nuclear and fossil fuel industry interests fueling his campaign.