DNC - Senator McCain Watch: Campaign Fueled by the Oil and Gas Industry

Washington, DC - This week, as John McCain continues on the Low Road Express, launching false attacks and airing desperate ads, donations from oil and gas companies are fueling his campaign - and driving his policies.

Last week top oil companies Exxon and Shell announced that they made record-breaking profits for the second quarter of 2008 -- $11.68 billion and $11.56 billion respectively -- as Americans were paying record-high prices at the pump. Yet McCain refuses to support a windfall profits tax on oil companies that would go to American families as rebates to help offset rising energy costs. Instead, McCain is offering a set of policies, from $4 billion in tax breaks for the top five oil companies to a gas tax "holiday" that wouldn't even fill a tank, that will do more for Exxon-Mobil and Shell than working Americans.

Oil and gas industry donors are rewarding McCain generously for his corporate-friendly policies. McCain has taken over $2 million from oil and gas executives and employees for his presidential campaign -- $1.1 million in June of this year alone.

McCain's energy proposals won't help American families struggling with rising energy costs, but they will pad the oil industry's profits - and the coffers of the McCain campaign.

MCCAIN'S DRILLING PLAN EARNED HIM BIG MONEY FROM BIG OIL


McCain Has Raised More Than $2.1 Million From The Oil And Gas Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain received $1,039,768 in contributions from the oil and gas industry between January 2007 and May 2008 - a figure which dwarfs any other presidential candidates' oil industry money. In addition, the Washington Post reported that "campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling." According to the Post's analysis, oil and gas industry executives and employees contributed $1.1 million to McCain and the Republican National Committee's Victory Fund in June - three-quarters of which were donated after McCain's June 16th announcement that he supported ending the moratorium on offshore drilling. These contributions, when combined with the $1.03 million raised by McCain prior to the month of June, indicated that he has raised more than $2.1 million from the oil and gas industry. [Center for Responsive Politics website, "Selected Industry Totals to Candidates," accessed 7/31/08; Washington Post, 7/27/08; "Oil Flow," WashingtonPost.com graphic, accessed 8/3/08]

MCCAIN REFUSES TO CRACK DOWN ON PROFITS MADE BY OIL COMPANIES

McCain's Tax Plan Would Save Largest American Oil Companies Nearly $4 Billion. According to the Center For American Progress, "The centerpiece of Sen. McCain's plan to stimulate the economy -- actually, the whole plan -- is large tax cuts for corporations. It would deliver $3.8 billion in tax cuts to the five largest American oil companies, according to an analysis released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund." According to the Center For American Progress' Analysis, Exxon/Mobil would save as much as $1.2 Billion under McCain's corporate tax cut. [Work Room, Thinkprogress.org, 3/27/2008]

MCCAIN OPPOSES WINDFALL PROFITS TAX TO HELP AMERICAN FAMILIES

McCain Voted Against Imposing A 50 Percent Excise Tax On Oil Company Windfall Profits.
John McCain voted against an amendment to the 2005 Energy Policy Act to impose a 50 percent excise tax on windfall profits earned by major integrated U.S. oil companies on sale or constructive sale of taxable crude oil derived from existing wells during tax year. The amendment defined "windfall profits" as amount that a barrel of taxable crude oil sold or constructively sold exceeds $40 per barrel, adjusted annually for inflation and also provided for a reduction in the tax for exploration and development costs, investments in certain renewable facilities, and increases in domestic refinery capacity. Funds collected from the tax would have been returned to taxpayers in the form of rebates. [2005 Senate Vote #331, 11/17/05; Houston Chronicle, 11/17/05; Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/18/05; Environment and Energy Daily¸ 11/18/05]

McCain Criticized Obama's Call For A Windfall Profits Tax. As the Associated Press reported, "Republican Sen. John McCain criticized Sen. Barack Obama's call for a windfall profits tax on the oil industry on Tuesday, despite leaving the door open to the same idea last month. … McCain criticized Obama, his Democratic rival, repeatedly in excerpts of a speech planned for delivery Tuesday evening. He cited Obama's advocacy of a tax on excess oil industry profits as well as the Democrat's vote for President Bush's energy legislation in 2005. McCain reserved his sharpest words for the windfall profits tax. 'If that plan sounds familiar, it's because that was President Carter's big idea, too. ... I'm all for recycling, but it's better applied to paper and plastic than to the failed policies of the 1970s,' McCain said in the excerpts." [Associated Press, 6/17/08]

MCCAIN'S TAX PLAN: $4 BILLION FOR OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY WHILE AMERICANS PAY $4 PER GALLON AT THE PUMP

McCain's Tax Plan Will Cut Taxes For Oil Companies by Nearly $4 Billion - Including $1.2 Billion for Exxon. A study by the Center for American Progress Action Fund noted that the corporate tax rate cut included in the McCain tax plan "would deliver a $3.8 billion tax cut to the five largest American oil companies" - ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Valero Energy, and Marathon. According to their analysis of Exxon's financial statements, the company would receive a tax savings of $1.2 billion under the McCain plan. ["The McCain Plan to Cut Oil Company Taxes by Nearly $4 Billion," Center for American Progress Action Fund, 3/27/08]

MCCAIN HAS ALSO REFUSED TO REQUIRE OIL COMPANIES TO INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

McCain Said He Would Not Require Oil Companies To Use Their Profits To "Pursue Alternative Energy."
When asked in a republican primary debate if he would "require the oil industry to use its profits to help pursue alternative energy" McCain responded, "I would not require them to. But I think that public pressure and a lot of other things, including a national security requirement that we reduce and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil -- and we stop the contamination of our atmosphere, which is -- and climate change, which is real and is taking place." [GOP Primary Debate, 10/9/07]