Washington, DC-- Today ABC News suggested that Senator Barack Obama has more support from Big Oil than Senator McCain. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"Let there be no mistake, the oil and gas industry knows that Exxon-McCain is the ticket to four more years of record profits and skyrocketing energy costs," said Exxon-McCain 08 spokesman Damien LaVera. "Our political opponents can try to muddy the waters if they want, but Big Oil has steered more than $2 million to the Exxon-McCain 08 campaign for a reason. John McCain's promise of more of the same reckless giveaways and tax breaks for Big Oil and obstruction of alternatives to oil is exactly what Big Oil is looking for, which is why Exxon-McCain is their ticket this November."

Oil Trader Funneled Campaign Contributions to McCain. But the man who gathered checks from them is no stranger to McCain -- he shuttled the Republican on his private plane and held a fundraising event for the candidate at his house in Delray Beach, Fla. Harry Sargeant III, a former naval officer and the owner of an oil-trading company that recently inked defense contracts potentially worth more than $1 billion, is the archetype of a modern presidential money man. The law forbids high-level supporters from writing huge checks, but with help from friends in the Middle East and the former chief of the CIA's bin Laden unit -- who now serves as a consultant to his company -- Sargeant has raised more than $100,000 for three presidential candidates from a collection of ordinary people, several of whom professed little interest in the outcome of the election.

McCain Received Almost $55,000 in Contributions from Exxon Employees and Exxon's PAC.
McCain received $54,336 in contributions from Exxon Mobil employees and its PAC. [Political Moneyline, Accessed: 8/5/08]

McCain Has Raised More Than $2.1 Million From The Oil And Gas Industry, Including More Than $1.1 Million In The Month Of June. 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 - $882,950 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]