FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2008
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
David Willett, 202.675.6698
John McCain's Million Dollar Big Oil Quid Pro Quo
Campaign Cash From Big Oil Flows In After Offshore Drilling Flip-Flop
Washington, D.C. -- A report in yesterday's Washington Post highlighted the surge in campaign cash from Big Oil to John McCain following his June flip-flop on offshore drilling -- something even the Bush Administration admits will do absolutely nothing to lower gas prices today, tomorrow, or even two decades from now. McCain more than doubled his previous take from Big Oil, raking in some $1.1 million in the month of June alone. The vast majority of the money came in only after McCain announced his calculated flip-flop on offshore drilling. The Republican National Committee has also already received more than $4 million in campaign cash from Big Oil -- not including the amount it raised from Big Oil in June, which has yet to be determined.
"We suspected John McCain was going to get a lot more than just two standing ovations from the Big Oil fat cats in Texas, but it looks like his campaign hit quite a gusher indeed," said Cathy Duvall, Sierra Club National Political Director. "Big Oil's billions in record profits prove they're benefiting from our pain at the pump and now it seems John McCain is happy to share in the wealth. It hardly seems like a coincidence that John McCain and the Republican Party were proposing schemes to help the oil companies and running millions in attacks ads full of blatant lies about Obama's energy policy just as Big Oil opened the spigots on millions in campaign cash."
Big Oil is set this week to announce yet another quarter of billions in record-breaking profits. Last week Texas-based ConocoPhillips announced a record-breaking $5.4 billion profit for the second quarter, with its revenue increasing by more than 50 percent over the same period last year.
On June 15 John McCain said he wanted to allow Big Oil to begin the "exploitation" of our coasts. The next day he went to Houston and formally announced his flip-flop on offshore drilling before an audience of energy industry executives -- a speech he then immediately followed up with several fundraisers in Big Oil's backyard.
Big Oil Shows McCain the Money
- 1989-2006: McCain raises a total of $305,277 from the oil industry, despite a presidential bid and stint as chairman of the high-profile Senate Commerce Committee.
- March 2008: McCain raises $116,000 from Big Oil
- April 2008: McCain raises $283,000 from Big Oil
- May 2008: McCain raises $208,000 from Big Oil
- June 15, 2008: McCain says he supports allowing Big Oil to begin the "exploitation" of our coasts
- June 16, 2008: McCain formally announces his support for offshore drilling in a speech to energy executives in Houston and then launches a fundraising tour of the state
- June 2008: McCain raises $1.1 million from Big Oil -- the vast majority of which came in after his flip-flop on offshore drilling
- July 6, 2008: Republican National Committee spends $3.4 million on false and misleading ads in Midwestern battleground states attacking Obama on energy policy. The San Francisco Chronicle said the ad "had enough whoppers to make the Midwesterners cough up their Fourth of July potato salad."
- July 21, 2008: McCain unveils an ad blaming Obama for high gas prices. The New York Times calls its "misleading on nearly every substantive point."
John McCain's Pro-Big Oil Agenda
- Supports Offshore Drilling
- Proposed a $3.8 billion tax cut for the five largest American oil companies alone
- Proposed a misguided "gas tax holiday," that over 230 leading economists -- including 4 Nobel Prize winners -- denounced because it would offer no relief to consumers but would add to the oil industry's already record-breaking profits
- Opposes legislation that would rollback billions taxpayer-funded giveaways to Big Oil and impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies that fail to invest their excess profits in clean energy
Non-Profit, Non-Partisan Campaign Finance Reform Group Says McCain a "Case Study" in Changing Positions In Order to Raise Cash
"‘The timing was significant,' said David Donnelly, the national campaigns director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonpartisan campaign finance reform group that conducted the analysis of McCain's oil industry contributions. ‘This is a case study of how a candidate can change a policy position in the interest of raising money.'" -Washington Post, July 27, 2008.
Big Oil Adviser Says Industry Was "Very Appreciative" of McCain's Offshore Drilling Flip-Flop
"And West said he thinks McCain gave energy executives what they needed to get more solidly in his corner -- a pledge to reverse a federal policy that has frustrated the industry for years.
‘I think people thought it was a sensible thing that was long due,' West said. ‘I think the industry was very appreciative.'" -Washington Post, July 27, 2008.
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