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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

CONTACT: David Willett, 202-675-6698

High Gas Prices:
Barack Obama’s Plan Helps Consumers;
John McCain Benefits Big Oil, Deflects Blame with False Ad

Washington, D.C.—Gas prices continue to reach new records. But Barack Obama and John McCain have two very different strategies for  solving our energy and economic crises.  Contrary to desperate and misleading attack ads from John McCain, Barack Obama’s plan provides real relief for consumers squeezed by energy costs; John McCain’s plan benefits Big Oil  -an industry awash in unparalleled profits.

Barack Obama has a plan for $1,000 of real relief for consumers suffering due to skyrocketing gas prices.  Obama has proposed a second-round of economic stimulus checks and a $1,000 tax cut for working families and middle-class Americans.  This plan offers struggling consumers real, immediate relief.  This relief will be paid for by taking back the billions in taxpayer-funded giveaways to Big Oil, while making sure that the oil industry is paying its fair share on its tens of billions in record profits.

"Barack Obama understands that hardworking Americans are suffering because the failed policies of the Bush administration have crippled our economy and left us at the mercy of hostile foreign regimes, oil companies, and greedy Wall Street speculators," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director.  "There’s no magic wand that is going to solve our energy crisis overnight, but Obama’s plan offers America consumers the real, immediate relief they need to get through today’s crisis.  Obama’s plan also has a long-term strategy that puts on the path to true energy independence and will end Big Oil’s chokehold on our economy once and for all."

John McCain’s plan benefits Big Oil, while denying consumers any relief from pain at the pump.  John McCain has proposed a massive tax cut for some of America’s richest corporations.  His tax plan would offer a stunning $3.8 BILLION tax cut to the five largest American oil companies—including $1.2 billion for ExxonMobil alone.  This plan would cost $1.7 TRILLION, balloon the deficit and put any hope of balancing the budget well out of reach.

“McCain is talking about old energy, not new energy. Instead of any real relief for consumers, John McCain is following George Bush’s example has proposed a Texas-sized tax cut for Big Oil,” said Pope.  "His plan would balloon the deficit and add to the billions in giveaways to the oil industry that each and every taxpayer is already paying for.  Neither consumers nor the American economy can afford 4 more years of these same failed economic and energy policies.”

John McCain’s misguided "gas tax holiday" would do NOTHING to lower gas prices, but would help pad Big Oil’s bottom line.  Over 230 leading economists—including 4 Nobel Prize winners have denounced the plan.  These experts called the plan a "bad idea" and wrote:

…research shows that waiving the gas tax would generate major profits for oil companies rather than significantly lowering prices for consumers

…a tax holiday would provide very little relief to families feeling squeezed.

The Bush-McCain offshore drilling plan would do NOTHING lower gas prices, would threaten our pristine coastal areas, and pad Big Oil’s bottom line.  The Bush Administration’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA) admits that more offshore drilling won’t do anything to lower gas—today or even two decades from now.

  • NO RELIEF AT THE PUMP: The EIA said the effect of offshore drilling on oil prices at peak production (in 2030) would be "insignificant."
  • DIRTY: According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused over 9 million gallons of oil to be spilled.
  • AT ODDS WITH ALLIES: Even prominent conservative T. Boone Pickens says, "I've been an oil man all my life but this is one emergency we can't drill our way out of."

"John McCain went straight to Houston last month to tell the oil industry exactly what it wanted to hear—that he and President Bush want to let them begin the unfettered, wholesale ‘exploitation’ of our coasts," said Pope.  "Even the Bush administration admits that this misguided plan won’t do a thing to lower gas prices today, tomorrow, or even a decade from now.  McCain has said that his plan would offer consumers 'psychological relief,' but the only ones feeling relieved are the people at his campaign and the Republican Party cashing the millions of dollars in checks that Big Oil has sent them."


Paid for by the Sierra Club Political Committee,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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