FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31, 2008
Sierra Club Highlights Major Differences In McCain, Obama Energy Plans With TV Ad, Grassroots Events
Washington, D.C. -- The Sierra Club today unveiled a new television spot and held grassroots events in key battleground states to contrast John McCain and Barack Obama's plans for dealing with America's energy crisis. This week’s news -- another quarter of billions in record profits for Big Oil -- underscores why America cannot afford another president who sides with Big Oil instead of consumers. The television ad will begin airing today in Washington D.C., Ohio, Colorado, and New Hampshire, with events taking place in Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.
"While soaring gas prices have crippled our economy and hardworking families are hurting, the big oil companies are rolling in some $40,000,000,000 in profits in just the past three months alone," said Cathy Duvall, Sierra Club Political Director. "Barack Obama has a plan that takes on Big Oil and would provide us with $1,000 in real relief to get us through today's crisis, while putting us squarely on the road to energy independence. Meanwhile, John McCain's taken over $2,000,000 in campaign cash from Big Oil and now wants them to have another $4,000,000,000 in government giveaways. We literally cannot afford another president who sides with Big Oil instead of American consumers."
As gas prices have skyrocketed and our pain at the pump has increased, oil company profits have also soared. Just this week, Big Oil is reporting yet another quarter of billions in record-breaking profits -- profits far outstripping even last year's record haul. ConocoPhillips raked in $5,400,000,000, BP pulled down $9,470,000,000 (exceeding analysts' expectations by more than $1,500,000,000), and just today Shell announced a record of $11,560,000,000. ExxonMobil's quarterly profit is expected to come in around $13,000,000,000 -- the largest ever posted by a corporation, anytime, anywhere. A recent Rice University analysis shows Big Oil is investing only a small percentage of its profits in exploration—a mid-single digits figure unchanged since the 1990s, while the industry's spending on stock buybacks and dividends in order to further enrich its investors has increased from 1 percent of profits in 1993 to a whopping 55 percent today.
John McCain’s Plan Calls for Billions in Additional Giveaways to Big Oil
John McCain's economic plan calls for a drastic cut in the corporate tax rate. This would not only permanently bust the budget with its $1.7 TRILLION price tag, it would tremendously benefit Big Oil. John McCain has already refused to cut off more than $13,000,000,000 in government giveaways to Big Oil and his new plan would give just the five largest American oil companies another $3,800,000,000 handout each year—with ExxonMobil alone getting an astonishing $1,200,000,000.
"It's American consumers—not ExxonMobil—that need help from the government," said Duvall. "John McCain claims his gas tax holiday would help consumers, but that's nothing more than a gimmick and a hoax. Over 230 leading economists have said that it wouldn't do anything to help us and would instead just add to the oil companies' record profits."
Barack Obama Has a Plan for Real Relief That Will Benefit Consumers
Barack Obama has called for a second stimulus package and $1,000 in immediate tax relief for consumers in order to help Americans deal with the rising costs of energy, food, and other goods. He would pay for this plan by ending the billions in government giveaways to Big Oil and by making sure the oil industry is paying its fair share on its record profits. His plan also would create over 5,000,000 new jobs and build the clean energy economy by investing $150 billion in clean, renewable energy.
"Obama's plan gives us real relief and will help end Big Oil's chokehold on our economy and politics once and for all," commented Duvall. "Instead of McCain's gimmicks and schemes that will benefit no one but Big Oil and do nothing to actually lower gas prices, Obama's plan sides with hardworking families and will help put America back on the right rack."
New TV Ad Underscores Who Benefits—Consumers or Big Oil—Under Candidates' Energy Plans
The Sierra Club’s new TV spot, entitled "Full Nelson," is airing in Washington D.C., as well as the key battleground states of New Hampshire, Colorado, and Ohio. The buy could be expanded to additional markets in the weeks ahead.
[Shot of family being squeezed by oil barrels overflowing with cash]
"Big Oil companies have our economy and politics in a choke hold."
"They are getting billions from the government...raking in record profits...while we pay $4 a gallon for gas."
[Shot of McCain in front of the Capitol]
"John McCain’s answer?"
"Another $4 billion giveaway to Big Oil."
[Shot of Obama in front of the White House]
"But Barack Obama has a plan the breaks the grip of Big Oil..."
[Shot of people installing solar panels]
"...It invests in clean energy options and gives families energy tax rebates."
[Shot of Obama]
"Barack Obama. Real Relief. Real Change."
"The Sierra Club Political Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising."
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