Washington, DC - On the same day John McCain is traveling to Houston to cave in to his friends in Big Oil, Senator McCain's campaign released a new ad intended to promote him as a champion of renewable energy. McCain is expected to call for more offshore drilling today--despite supporting a moratorium on drilling during his last presidential campaign. McCain will reverse himself on the need for a windfall profit tax for oil companies. While McCain said he was open to a tax on excessive oil company profits just six weeks ago, tonight he will tell industry executives he opposes one. Yet, despite his pattern of repeatedly voting against promoting green jobs and renewable energy technologies, McCain's new ad claims he will break our dependence on foreign oil by promoting renewable energy.
"John McCain's new 'Global' ad is universally misleading," said Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney. "How can we trust John McCain to confront soaring gas prices or break America's dependence on foreign oil when he caved in to Big Oil on drilling and tax breaks, his one of his top economic advisors helped create the problem in the first place, and he has repeatedly opposed incentives for green jobs and renewable energy? As this campaign goes on, the voters will clearly see that a vote for Senator McCain is a vote for four more years of President Bush's failed and flawed policies that have cost American jobs, driven energy prices through the roof, and given huge handouts to his friends in the oil and gas industry."
McCain's "Global" Ad Universally Misleading
MCCAIN CLAIM: John McCain stood up to the President and sounded the alarm on global warming ... five years ago.
MCCAIN FACT: John McCain Has Repeatedly Voted Against Efforts to Promote Renewable Energy.
- McCain Voted Repeatedly Against Establishing National Renewable Energy Standards. McCain voted against an amendment that would mandate that renewable energy sources must produce at least 10 percent of the electricity sold by electric utilities by 2020, a minimum of 2.5 percent must be produced beginning 2008 through 2011. [2005 Senate Vote #141, 6/16/2005; 2002 Senate Vote #50, 3/14/2002; 2002 Senate Vote #55, 3/21/2002; 2002 Senate Vote #59, 3/21/2002]
- 2007: McCain Missed Vote On Passage Of 2007 Energy Policy Legislation. McCain missed a vote on passage of the energy bill that would overhaul national energy policies and increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy. [2007 Senate Vote #226, 6/21/2007]
- Energy Legislation Mandated Higher CAFE Standards, Increased Use Of Biofuels, And New Energy Efficiency Standards. McCain missed a vote on passage of the energy bill that would overhaul national energy policies and increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. The bill would make petroleum price gouging a federal crime in a "national energy emergency" and subject the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to U.S. antitrust laws. It would mandate the use of 36 billion gallons of ethanol by 2022, create new efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings and promote new energy technologies. It also would require the annual use of 15 billion gallons of biofuels by 2015, encourage carbon sequestration research and direct the State Department to pursue strategic partnerships with major energy-consuming and energy-producing nations. [2007 Senate Vote #226, 6/21/2007]
MCCAIN CLAIM: Today, he has a realistic plan that will curb greenhouse gas emissions.
MCCAIN FACT: Today, McCain Will Reverse His Previous Opposition to Offshore Drilling and Continue his Support for His Gas Tax Gimmick.
- McCain: Arguments Against Offshore Drilling "Less Convincing;" Time to End Moratorium. "As for offshore drilling, it's safe enough these days that not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coasts of New Orleans and Houston. Yet for reasons that become less convincing with every rise in the price of foreign oil, the federal government discourages offshore production… But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use." [Excerpts of Remarks Prepared for Delivery, Houston, TX, 6/17/08]
- FLASHBACK: 1999: McCain, Campaigning In California, Endorsed A Moratorium On Offshore Oil Drilling. "For a moment, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain almost sounded like a San Francisco liberal. The Arizona senator said yesterday that gays and lesbians would be welcome to serve in his administration. He decried the influence of money in politics. He endorsed a moratorium on offshore oil drilling." [San Francisco Chronicle, 7/29/99]
- 1999: McCain Supports The Current Moratorium On Oil Drilling. "In response to a query of the candidates, Gore and Bradley promised to support the existing moratorium, in addition to opposing the leases. Both also say they will work with the seven oil companies holding leases to find alternatives to drilling. That could mean canceling the leases, or buying out the companies in a deal like the one that secured the Headwaters Forest. McCain supports the current moratorium, but hasn't decided on the pending leases. Steve Forbes hasn't replied to questions about oil drilling." [Ventura County Star, 11/15/99]
- McCain: Gas Tax Holiday will Save Consumers Money. "Oddly enough, though, Senator Obama doesn't want to lower the gas taxes paid by consumers, which would be the most direct and obvious way to give Americans a break at the gas station." [Excerpts of Remarks Prepared for Delivery, Houston, TX, 6/17/08]
- REALITY CHECK --- FactCheck.org: McCain Gas Tax Holiday Will Not Drive Prices Down; Would "Give Federal Funds To Oil Refineries." "But economists say that the proposal is unlikely to actually lower the price of gasoline. McCain's plan would essentially give federal funds to oil refineries… But the nonpartisan American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials estimates that the total savings for the average American motorist works out to about $28; for a two-car household, that would be $54. That's IF prices actually dropped 18.4 cents per gallon. However, there's every indication that they wouldn't. Here's why: According to the basic principles of supply and demand, cutting the price of an item causes people to buy more of it. That's why stores put items on sale. But when something is priced too low, consumers will buy it faster than it can be manufactured, which leads to shortages. [Factcheck.org, 5/2/08: http://www.factcheck.org/gas_price_fixes_that_wont.html]
- McCain Opposes Windfall Profits Tax For Oil Companies. "So what does Senator Obama support in energy policy? Well, for starters he supported the energy bill of 2005 - a grab-bag of corporate favors that I opposed. And now he supports new taxes on energy producers. He wants a windfall profits tax on oil, to go along with the new taxes he also plans for coal and natural gas. If the plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Jimmy Carter's big idea too - and a lot of good it did us. Now as then, all a windfall profits tax will accomplish is to increase our dependence on foreign oil, and hinder exactly the kind of domestic exploration and production we need. I'm all for recycling - but it's better applied to paper and plastic than to the failed policies of the 1970's." [Excerpts of Remarks Prepared for Delivery, Houston, TX, 6/17/08]
- FLASHBACK --- May 2008: McCain Said He Was Open to Windfall Profits Tax. "I don't like obscene profits being made anywhere-and I'd be glad to look not just at the windfall profits tax-that's not what bothers me-but we should look at any incentives that we are giving to people, that or industries or corporations that are distorting the market." [CNN Live Feed, Town Hall (Charlotte, NC), 5/5/08: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP8eDdVzy9s]
- In a Last-Minute Legislative Maneuver, McCain Campaign Co-Chair Phil Gramm Inserted the Commodities Future Modernization Act into a Separate Piece of Legislation; Later Called the "Enron Loophole." "There's growing evidence that investors looking to make a fast buck are causing oil prices to rise faster than can be explained by ordinary market forces. Congress, however, can do something about the situation. It can help to ease this problem, because it helped to create this monster. In December 2000, Congress passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which was signed into law by President Clinton just before he left office in January 2001. Few people realized at the time that a loophole had been tucked into this 262-page bill at the last minute by then-Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas. It came to be known as the 'Enron Loophole,' and it allowed Enron and other large energy traders to be exempt from federal oversight of over-the-counter transactions in energy markets. Enron is no more, but the loophole lives on. It has allowed massive growth of unregulated trading on energy futures markets, where investors essentially 'bet' on the price of oil at a certain date in the future." [Philadelphia Inquirer editorial, 6/11/08]
MCCAIN CLAIM: A plan that will help grow our economy and protect our environment.
MCCAIN FACT: McCain Blocked Tax Credits For Green Jobs.
- Renewable Energy Tax Credit Extension Worth 116,000 Jobs Per Year. A 2008 economic study by Navigant Consulting finds that "over 116,000 U.S. jobs and nearly $19 billion in U.S. investment could be lost in just one year if renewable energy tax credits are not renewed by Congress, according to preliminary results released today by the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The study finds that over 76,000 jobs are put at risk in the wind industry, and approximately 40,000 jobs in the solar industry. The states that could lose the most jobs include: Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and California. The lion's share of these states would lose more than 1,000 jobs." [AWEA Press Release, 2/4/2008]
- McCain Missed Key Votes On Extending Renewable Energy Tax Credits. McCain missed numerous votes in 2007 and 2008 on tax credits for renewable energy, due to his busy campaign schedule. Several of the votes he missed on extending existing tax credits failed by just a few votes. [2007 Senate Vote #98, 3/22/2007; 2007 Senate Vote #223, 6/21/2007; 2007 Senate Vote #416, 12/7/2007; 2008 Senate Vote #8, 2/6/2008]
- McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Tax Credits For Renewable Energy Production. McCain voted against several amendments aimed at encouraging renewable energy production. [2006 Senate Vote #42, 3/14/2006; 2005 Senate Vote #158, 6/28/2005; 2001 Senate Vote #125, 5/21/2001]
- McCain Voted Against $290 for Renewable Energy R&D. McCain voted against an amendment to extend the renewable energy production tax credit and clean renewable energy bonds programs for four years including $290 Million for renewable energy R&D on Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower. [2006 Senate Vote #42, 3/14/2006]
- McCain Voted Against Major Energy Legislation Providing $18 Billion In Energy Related Tax Incentives. McCain voted against the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The bill would overhaul the nation's energy policy and provide for approximately $18 billion in energy-related tax incentives. [2005 Senate Vote #158, 6/28/2005]
- McCain Voted Against Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Construction. McCain voted against an amendment to establish tax credits for investments in renewable energy technologies, incentives for new energy efficient residential construction and tax deductions for increased energy efficiency in commercial buildings. [2001 Senate Vote #125, 5/21/2001]