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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2008
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

Hurricane Ike Stokes Gas Price Gouging Fears
John McCain Sided with Bush, Big Oil to Oppose
Price Gouging Protections for Consumers

Washington, D.C.—Despite falling oil prices, gas prices have jumped in the wake of Hurricane Ike.  As many Texas refineries remain shutdown, gasoline prices on the spot market have jumped more than $1.50 a gallon and worries about price gouging along the Gulf Coast and in other areas have emerged.  Yet, even after the serious problems following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, John McCain voted AGAINST protecting consumers from price gouging during energy emergencies.  And just this summer as gas prices skyrocketed, John McCain continued to oppose legislation that included price gouging provisions.

It comes as no surprise that McCain would join President Bush and Big Oil in opposing these measures.  He's also filled his campaign with lobbyists who've been paid millions of dollars by Big Oil and its front group, the American Petroleum Institute, to oppose protections for consumers, block clean energy, and stop efforts to repeal billions in government giveaways to the oil industry.

Statement of Cathy Duvall, Sierra Club National Political Director

"Just two months after the turmoil and dramatic spike in gas prices caused by Hurricane Katrina, John McCain voted against protecting consumers from price gouging during energy emergencies.  If that wasn't outrageous enough, when gas prices skyrocketed this summer, John McCain sided with Big Oil and Wall Street speculators by opposing legislation that would've protected consumers and cracked downed on the rampant speculation that independent experts now blame for the run up in oil prices.  This is just one more troubling example of McCain siding with President Bush and Big Oil instead of American consumers.

"It should come as no surprise that John McCain sides with Big Oil on this issue and so many more.  John McCain and the Republican National Committee have received millions in campaign cash from Big Oil and the lobbyists running his campaign and planning his administration have been paid millions by the oil industry in order to oppose price gouging protections, clean energy legislation, and other measures to free us from Big Oil's chokehold.

"John McCain should be ashamed of himself for promoting billions in government giveaways to Big Oil while voting against protecting consumers from price gouging at the pump.  John McCain: right for price-gougers, wrong for America."         

  • John McCain voted AGAINST protecting consumers from price gouging during energy emergencies. (2005 Roll Call Vote #334)
  • John McCain strongly OPPOSES a bill that would protect consumers from price gouging, crack down on speculators, repeal billions in government giveaways to Big Oil, and invest in renewable energy (S.2991, Consumer-First Act).
  • John McCain's campaign is full of more than two-dozen Big Oil lobbyists, chief among them Nancy Pfotenhauer (Sr. Advisor), Wayne Berman (Finance Co-Chair), John Green (Capitol Hill liaison), and William Timmons (leader of the transition team).
  • Berman and Green both were lobbyists for Chevron, Hess, and the American Petroleum Institute.  They both specifically lobbied against the Price Gouging Prevention Act.  Senate records show that from 2002-08, Berman brought in $1.1 million from API and Green brought in an additional $1.4 million. 

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


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