John McCain is expected to call for more offshore drilling today. His campaign recently released an ad meant to champion him as a supporter of renewable energy. The same day that ad was released, McCain left for Texas to meet with his friends at Big Oil.
During his last run for the presidential nomination, McCain supported a moratorium on drilling. He will also reverse his stance on the need for a windfall profit tax for oil companies. Just six weeks ago McCain said he was open to a tax on excessive oil company profits; tonight, he will take the opposite position when he rejects the tax.
His new ad claims to eliminate the US’s dependence on foreign oil by supporting renewable energy although he has repeatedly voted against such green jobs and technologies.
Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney attacks McCain’s new ad as “universally misleading”:
“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 when 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?”
McCain has not voted to promote renewable energy
John McCain has repeatedly voted against efforts to promote renewable energy, as with his vote against an amendment mandating renewable energy sources to produce a minimum of 10 percent of the electricity sold by electric utilities by 2020. Many bills failed to pass by only a few votes.
In 2007 alone, McCain missed numerous votes on the passage of energy policy legislation, including a missed vote on a bill that would increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. Other missed votes included bills for tax credits for renewable energy production, for renewable energy R&D, and for energy related tax incentives worth $18 billion. [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 2006 Senate Vote #42, 3/14/2006; 2005 Senate Vote #158, 6/28/2005; 2001 Senate Vote #125, 5/21/2001]
McCain blocked tax credits for green jobs
A 2008 economic study by Navigant Consulting found that “over 116,000 US jobs and nearly $19 billion in US investment could be lost in just one year if renewable energy tax credits are not renewed by Congress.” The study shows that over 76,000 jobs are put at risk in the wind industry and 40,000 more are put at risk in the solar industry.
The Enron Loophole
Years after the Enron scandal, the loophole that helped bring Enron to its demise still lives on. McCain Campaign Co-Chair Phil Gramm tucked the Commodities Future Modernization Act into a separate piece of legislation which would later be known as the Enron Loophold. Evidence shows that investors looking to make an easy gain are causing prices in oil to rise faster than ordinary market forces could. The loophole allows unregulated trading on energy futures markets where investors can essentially “bet” on oil prices at a given point in the future.