FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2008
Contact: Kristina Johnson, 415.977.5619
Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
Oops, He Did It Again!
McCain Prefers Own Rhetoric to Facts,
Actual Experts on Offshore Drilling
Washington, D.C.--In Florida today, Senator John McCain said he was convinced offshore drilling would yield immediate oil—despite hard data to the contrary from experts like the federal government's Energy Information Administration.
According to the EIA, it would take 7-10 years for oil to come online from new drilling, and twenty years to reach peak production. And, as the New York Times recently noted, because of a recent shortage in drilling equipment, it could likely take even longer.
But McCain said:
"…So I disagree with those experts and I've talked to the actual people that do the work, that are in the business that say within months and certainly within a very short time, we could have additional oil supply for this nation. So we ought to drill now." (Video HERE)
Statement of Sierra Club Political Director Cathy Duvall
"Senator McCain may 'disagree with the experts,' but that doesn't make the facts go away. New offshore drilling simply won't provide any oil for roughly a decade. And even then, the Bush administration itself admits that drilling will do absolutely nothing to lower gas prices today, tomorrow, or even two decades from now.
"Oil companies aren't interested in lowering gas prices. Keeping supply tight and oil prices high keeps Big Oil rolling in record profits. The oil companies are spending almost ten times more—a full 55 percent of their record profits—on stock buybacks and dividends than they are on exploration. This drives up the price of their shares, their profits, and the paychecks of their executives.
"This episode is eerily reminiscent of Senator McCain's insistence that his misguided 'gas tax holiday' would benefit consumers and not simply add to Big Oil’s record profits. McCain and his aides continue to insist that the 230 leading economists -- including 4 Nobel Prize winners -- who denounced his plan are simply wrong.
"We're in an energy crisis. Americans do need short-term help to offset the cost of gas, and Senator Obama has a plan to give it to them. He has proposed a $1,000 refund check paid for by taxing Big Oil's record profits that would offer us immediate relief. That's something new drilling won't do, no matter what John McCain says."
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