DNC - Senator McCain Watch: A Campaign Of, By, And For Big Oil And Its Lobbyists

McCain's Raised $2 Million from Oil Companies, Has 33 Oil Company Lobbyists Running Campaign
See New DNC Web Video "Puppet Masters" Detailing Big Oil's Influence Over John McCain:

Washington, DC - This week, with energy in the headlines and at the forefront of the economic struggles for America's families, Americans are demanding real solutions to soaring gas prices and the long-term energy crisis. But instead of looking ahead for comprehensive solutions to our nation's energy problems and towards reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and developing alternative energy sources, John McCain is turning to the Bush-Cheney play book which puts the interests of oil companies ahead of the interests of Americans.  In fact, John McCain has at least 33 former oil lobbyists who advise him or fund-raise for his campaign.
McCain's oil lobbyists have represented many of the top oil companies - including Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron Texaco, Occidental Petroleum, Sunoco and the American Petroleum Institute - and have even lobbied for these companies while advising McCain. It's no surprise that McCain's positions on energy policy are ever-more closely aligned with oil and gas corporations.
Senator 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 the oil industry than working Americans.
Oil companies are rewarding McCain generously for his corporate-friendly energy plan. McCain has received over $2 million from oil and gas executives and employees for his presidential campaign -- $1.1 million in June of this year alone. On a single day, June 24, nine Hess executives contributed $28,500 each for a total of $256,500. Hess' total contributions to McCain include the $57,000 one Hess office manager and her husband, an Amtrak foreman, insist that they contributed independently. 

As Americans struggle with record gas prices, McCain continues to put corporate interests - and the fundraising bonus they bring his campaign -- before Americans' interests, offering more of the same old politics and policies that resulted in record-breaking profits for Exxon and Shell last quarter - over $11.5 billion apiece - even as Americans struggled with record-high prices at the pump.
McCain won't be offering anything new on energy policy -- unless you count the steady stream of breaking stories exposing the depth and extent of McCain's ties to the oil and gas industry.  For more on McCain's ties to the oil and gas industry click here to see the DNC's new web video "Puppet Masters."


33 McCain Advisors and Fundraisers Lobbied for Big Oil. "These new totals dwarf his previous fundraising from the industry. From 1989 through May 2008, John McCain had raised more than $1.3 million from the oil and gas industries, and 33 McCain staffers and fundraisers have received a total of $9.65 million in lobbying fees from the same sectors." [Campaign Money Watch, 7/31/08: http://www.campaignmoney.org/files/Its_A_Gusher.pdf

Randy Scheunemann, Top McCain's Foreign Policy Advisor, Lobbied for BP Amoco. From 1999 until 2000, McCain's top foreign policy advisor Randy Scheunemann lobbied for BP Amoco, for which his firm was paid $120,000. Scheunemann lobbied on issues related to BP-Amoco's investments, as well as issues concerning international oil production. [Scheunemann/BP Amoco Lobbying Disclosures, Senate Office of Public Records]

Charlie Black Lobbied for Occidental, CNOOC and Yukos.
• Black Lobbied for Occidental Oil Co., Earning Over $1 Million. From 2001 until 2007, Black lobbied for Occidental Oil company, earning his firm over $1,610,000 for his lobbying efforts. The issues for which Black lobbied on behalf of Occidental include: Energy issues in developing nations and oil drilling in Russia. [BKSH Lobbying Disclosures, Senate Office of Public Records]

• BKSH Lobbied for Chinese Oil Conglomerate CNOOC.According to lobbying disclosure reports for BKSH, McCain advisor and name partner Charlie Black lobbied for Chinese state-owned oil conglomerate CNOOC Ltd. BKSH "engaged in telephone calls and meetings dealing with legislation in Congress to prohibit foreign energy companies from acquiring U.S. based energy companies."  BKSH lobbied for only a short period - from July 2005 until August 2005 - but was paid $60,000 for its efforts. [BKSH Supplemental Statement, 12/31/05; BKSH Amendment, 8/15/05; BKSH Amendment, 3/27/06]

• Black Lobbied for Russian Oil Company Yukos During Its Assault By the Kremlin.   According to Senate filings, Black represented Yukos Oil Company in throughout 2004, during the period in which Yukos was facing takeover by the Kremlin after being hit by a multibillionaire back-tax bill. While Black ceased representing Yukos after the end of 2004, in  February 2008, Black's firm BKSH registered to lobby for Yukos subsidiary Yukos International BV UK  [Senate Office of Public Records; Business Week Online, 7/19/04, www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_29/b3892098_mz054.htm ]

McCain's Hand-Picked RNC Chairman Lobbied for Offshore Drilling. For six years, Frank Donatelli - whom McCain appointed as Deputy Chairman of the RNC - lobbied on behalf of energy company Dominion Resources, earning his firm $380,000. According to lobbying disclosure, Donatelli lobbied on offshore drilling legislation, pipeline safety, energy reform legislation, and Yucca Mountain nuclear storage. Additionally, Donatelli also lobbied on issues regarding IRC (Internal Revenue Code) Section 29, which - having been "established by Congress through the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act of 1980" - provides for a tax credit "for producing fuel from a nonconventional source." [IRS Bulletin, 4/25/05; Donatelli/McGuireWoods Disclosures, Senate Office of Public Records]

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]
Hess Executives and Family Members Donated a Total of $265,500 to the McCain Campaign on One Day. As reported by Talking Points Memo, drawing from analysis by Campaign Money Watch, "Ten senior Hess Corporation executives and/or members of the Hess family each gave $28,500 to the joint RNC-McCain fundraising committee, just days after McCain reversed himself to favor offshore drilling, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Nine of these contributions, seven from Hess executives and two from members of the Hess family, came on the same day, June 24th, the records show." [Talking Points Memo, 8/4/08]

A Hess Office Manager and Her Husband, an Amtrak Foreman, Donated $57,000. As reported by Talking Points Memo, drawing from analysis by Campaign Money Watch, "The FEC filings show that Alice Rocchio, who's identified as a Hess office manager, and her husband, Pasquale Rocchio, who's described as an Amtrak "track foreman," each separately donated $28,500 to the RNC-McCain fund, which is called McCain Victory 2008. They gave the money on June 24th, the same day that the ten Hess execs and family members each shelled out the same amount. So the Rocchios, who live in Flushing, Queens, donated a total of $57,000 to McCain's efforts." [Talking Points Memo, 8/4/08]

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 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 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 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]