From the Wonkroom… McCain Heads To Texas To Sell His Soul To Big Oil
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is heading to Texas today for a series of fundraisers with the Texas GOP elite in Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. Wedged between the multiple money events will be a speech in
– Lifting the federal moratorium on off-shore drilling established by President George H.W. Bush,
– Providing incentives to states to commence off-shore drilling, and
– Suspending the gas tax.
This suite of proposals adds up to a big fat kiss to Big Oil and its conservative allies — at the expense of everyone else. Unrestrained fossil fuel use delivers obscene profits for Big Oil but is a threat to the planet. McCain’s strong talk on global warming is proving unserious — much as candidate Bush’s campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide in 2000 turned out to be false. At the very same press briefing, McCain backtracked from his vaunted mandatory system to reduce greenhouse gases.
Strapped for cash and surrounded by Big Oil lobbyists, McCain is now embracing Bush’s Exxon-Halliburton energy policy. Although a “megabucks” fundraiser with
1990 to 2008 cycle (April), Center for Responsive Politics, compiled by Center for American Progress Action Fund.
According to a Campaign Money Watch analysis of campaign finance data provided by the nonpartisan Center for
McCAIN’S RECORD OF CODDLING BIG OIL.
– McCain Voted Against Reducing Dependence on Foreign Oil. In 2005, McCain voted against legislation calling on the President to submit a plan to reduce foreign petroleum imports by 40 percent. [Senate Roll Call Vote #140, 6/16/05; DNC 6/22/07]
– Candidate McCain’s “Zero” For Energy Future, Billions For Big Oil. Since launching his campaign for president in 2007, Sen. McCain has skipped out on every key environmental vote the Senate has considered, earning him a zero on the League of Conservation Voters scorecard this session. In one such instance, his absence killed the rollback of billions of dollars in oil subsidies for renewable energy investment. [LCV 2008]
– McCain’s Absence Allows GOP to Filibuster Oil-For-Renewables. By a roll call vote of 59-40 on December 13, 2007, Senate Democrats failed to muster the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster threatened by Republicans of compromise energy legislation with an oil-for-renewable tax package. The tax package rolled back $12.7 billion in tax breaks on the oil and gas industry to invest in renewable energy tax credits. Sen. John McCain, on the campaign trail, was the one senator not voting. [CQ 12/12/07] [Vote #425 12/13/07]
–McCain’s Tax Policies A Boon For Big Oil. Sen. McCain’s plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent is worth $1.2 billion a year to Exxon Mobil alone. In addition, his plan includes a massive new corporate tax shelter. His call for a gas tax suspension would funnel money — about $11 billion — to oil refiners and producers. [CAPAF 3/27/08, 4/18/08]
BIG OIL LOBBYISTS RUN McCAIN CAMPAIGN.
At least fourteen Big Oil lobbyists hold top positions in the McCain campaign, including his top adviser, Charlie Black.
– McCain’s Senior Adviser Lobbies For Foreign Oil Interests. Charlie Black (lobbying firm: BKSH), McCain’s senior campaign adviser, is a registered lobbyist for two Russian oil companies — Yukos Oil and Occidental International Corporation — and his lobbying firm was hired in 2005 by the China National Off-Shore Oil Corporation. [Roll Call 7/18/05, Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records]
– McCain’s Campaign Liaison to Congress a Million-Dollar Big-Oil Lobbyist. John Green (Ogilvy Government Relations) — the “full-time liaison between McCain’s presidential campaign and Republicans in the House and the Senate” — has made over $7.6 million dollars since 1999 lobbying for petro-industry giants such as Amerada-Hess, Chevron Texaco, the American Petroleum Institute, Reliant Energy, PJM Interconnection and First Energy. [Politico 3/4/08, Senate Lobbying Disclosure Records]
– Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Everywhere in the McCain Campaign. Frank Donatelli, McCain’s RNC liaison to the Republican Party, has lobbied for ExxonMobil, Dominion, and Eastman Chemical. Jerry Kilgore, co-chairman of McCain’s