Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has made his complete reversal on offshore drilling a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, insisting that expanding offshore drilling into protected areas would lead to more oil supply on the market “within a matter of months” — regardless of the Energy Information Agency’s projection that oil would not reach the market for nearly a decade and “would not have a significant impact” on oil prices.
Though more drilling won’t help Americans save money at the gas pump, it has certainly helped McCain win massive campaign donations from Big Oil. A new report by Campaign Money Watch shows that contributions to McCain from Big Oil skyrocketed directly following his June speech in Houston, when he pledged his support of offshore drilling before an audience oil executives. The report notes:
In Texas alone, June oil and gas-connected donations to McCain’s Victory ’08 Fund, his hybrid fundraising venture with the RNC and state committees, reached $1,214,100.
Of that total, $881,450, or 73 percent, came after June 15. McCain announced his position in favor of offshore drilling on June 16.
The report notes that these enormous contributions represent a seven-fold increase in donations, compared to McCain’s 2000 campaign:
McCain has no plan to prevent oil companies from absorbing the profits off expanded drilling opportunities — just like they have reaped record profits on the back of unprecedented oil prices. Last Sunday, when George Stephanopoulos asked how he would make sure oil companies passed the savings to consumers, McCain suggested weakly he could “shame” them into helping consumers:
STEPHANOPOULOS: The oil companies, the gas companies are going to absorb any reduction.
MCCAIN: … they say that. But one, it didn’t happen before, and two, we wouldn’t let it happen. We wouldn’t let it — Americans wouldn’t let them absorb that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How would you prevent that?
MCCAIN: We would make them shamed into it. We, of course, know how to — American public opinion. And we would penalize them, if necessary. But they wouldn’t. They would pass it on.