In a conference call yesterday, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) top economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, said McCain voted against the 2005 Energy Policy Act because it contained massive tax breaks to big oil companies. McCain’s economic plan, Holtz-Eakin claimed, would eliminate “all special tax breaks” to these oil companies, who are currently enjoying record profits:
It was full of reckless favors for oil companies. Senator McCain has proposed eliminating all special tax breaks for oil companies and understands that in an economy where jobs are the single most important foundation on which a family can build a life, having a tax rate that keeps jobs here and not abroad is central to the future of the American worker.
Holtz-Eakin’s claims are bogus. In reality, McCain wants to continue these “special” tax breaks to Big Oil, not stop them. McCain’s signature tax cut plan would deliver $3.8 billion to the five largest oil companies, as a recent Center for American Progress Action Fund analysis noted:
Furthermore, McCain’s senior adviser, Charlie Black, is a registered lobbyist for two Russian oil companies. McCain’s liaison between his presidential campaign and congressional Republicans has made millions lobbying for giants such as Chevron Texaco, the American Petroleum Institute, Reliant Energy, PJM Interconnection and First Energy.
But the lofty rhetoric continues anyway. In 2007, McCain said he would end “rifle-shot tax breaks for big oil.” In April, former McCain energy adviser Eric Burgeson said McCain is the one to “stand up” to Big Oil.
The Wonk Room notes that it is the energy industry who fuels the Straight Talk Express.