Follow the money … into McCain’s pockets

Recall Deep Throat (All the President’s Men), that basic piece of advice: “Follow the Money.”  As we listen to the George W. Bush’s, John McCain’s, the Republican Party’s, and the RWSM’s response to what George W. Bush described as America’s “addiction to oil”, remember those words.

In face of addiction, is the Republican Party fighting to get us (the US) to a treatment center? Struggling to help us (the US) get off the addiction? Preparing us (the US) for going cold turkey?  No, they are struggling for ways to feed the addiction and keep us hooked.  Hooked, that is, as the problem worsens even more such that the inevitable crash truly will be a crash and burn of our nation.

John McCain went to Houston Oilers’ territory for his first major energy speech. Totally apropos, because the best he could come up with was to argue for putting drills everywhere one can imagine.

Yes, John called for drilling as the silver bullet solution to all our problems.

Never mind that those wells would have, at best, a marginal impact (perhaps less than 5 cents per gallon) on gasoline prices years (if not decades) into the future (opening ANWR would have less than a 2 cents/gallon impact in 2025).

Never mind that America’s oil resources are, generously speaking, limited.

Never mind that there are efficiency measures that could lead to the equivalent of shaving 50 cents or more gallon. Efficiency measures that all of us (all of the US) could put into action immediately.  Never mind because helping us (the US) really doesn’t seem to be behind this mindless, truthiness laden, and often simply false rhetoric.

No, why not follow the money?

John McCain, it turns out, is beholden to the oil and gas industry.  

Seriously beholden.

McCain has accepted at least $1,069,854 from the oil and gas industry since 1989.   Just released, Campaign Money Watch notes that:

Campaign Money Watch, a campaign finance watchdog group, criticized Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) energy policy, including a reversal of his earlier stance on off-shore oil drilling, as too tied to his big money donors and lobbyists.

“John McCain’s big money donors and lobbyist friends have struck again,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “McCain’s reversal on off-shore drilling is a blatant pitch for donations at today’s Houston fundraising events.”

Yup.  

Straight Talk Express and principled John McCain abandoned his long-held opposition to coastal drilling right in Houston, where his (ex?) oil-industry lobbyist campaign staff of could take donations directly into their pockets, rather than worry about the vagaries of the US Mail.

The problem is that DRILL! DRILL! DRILL! sounds so soothing as a solution to people who are fearful what the price will be the next time that they go to fill up their car at the corner gas station.  But, it is a false chimera.  Drilling won’t touch that price of gas for a long time to come. And, it is not a Silver Bullet. The United States has under two percent of the world’s reserves yet uses 25% of the world’s production.  Drilling even more only hastens the day when that under two percent falls even lower.  And, there are many other, more fruitful, higher impact ways to deal with the challenges of oil and gas prices: most notably through “negagallons”, helping all of us (all of the US) find paths through efficiency and conservation for reduced use.

But, rather than provide real answers to real problems, McCain is throwing a life ring to an industry at risk … at risk of having even more record profits this year than last.  Will Exxon-Mobil hit $50 billion in profits in the first year of a McCain presidency?

Why would it be any different from the last year of George W Bush’s occupancy of the Oval Office?  Later today, George W Bush will call for opening up fragile coastal regions for drilling.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi notes:

The President’s proposal sounds like another page from the Administration’s Energy Policy that was literally written by the oil industry.

So the fact is, we CAN’T drill our way out of this problem.

But  we do have unlimited amounts of sunshine, wind, biofuels, biomass, and  geothermal heat-and the American ingenuity to discover new ways to power the  world, to grow these industries, to create hundreds of thousands of high paying  green job-and to become a lot more energy independent.

But that will  require Republicans moving into the 21st century… and not standing in the way of  incentives to boost the AMERICAN renewables industry.



McFlip, McFlop, McSame McCain
:

Running for the Third Bush Term.

7 comments

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  1. follow the fucking money!!!

  2. is that of the money donated since 1989 to his campaign coffers, almost 1.2 million of that nearly 2 million has been donated in just the last year – or more specifically, the 2008 election year.

    This is from the link you use above – http://www.campaignmoney.org/m

    I will confess to having some difficulty with how donations are categorized – not just for McCain, but for all candidates, in terms of the FEC reportage.  Donations from employees of corporations are always lumped in with corporation-level donations – and this makes anyone complicit if they donate to a candidate and happen to work for a corporation.

    When almost 50 million Americans work for companies with 500 or more employees, it’s impossible to separate the chaff from the grain in terms of whether employees campaign donations align with their company’s interests or their own political preferences, without doing further drill-down.

    Additionally, in that report from the Public Campaign Action Fund, alternative energy is lumped into the same category (at least superficially) with power plant construction, waste management, and water utilities companies in terms of donations to McCain.  

    Between 1989 and 2006, employees and PACs of the alternative energy, energy distribution, power plant construction, and water utilities industries gave McCain $78,855. In 2008 alone they donated $247,181.

    Why are they lumped together? I couldn’t track down the details as to what “alternative energy company” means in their use of the phrase for this report. (of course, my research access is limited to spits and spurts due to my own work demands, so I may be missing something.)

  3. …all I could picture was a Colombian drug lord chastising people for being addicted to his drugs, while he’s still getting rich off their misery and with no intention of stopping the flow.  

    McCain has made it clear that he’s for sale to the highest bidder, and the oil companies are rolling in enough money to line his pockets quite well.  The only solution he has to offer to the high oil prices is to drill more oil wells-that and to talk about staying in Iraq for “100, 1,000 or a million years”.  No mention by McCain about fast-tracking mass transit or alternative fuel technologies. Guess there’s not enough personal profit in that for him.

     

    • Edger on June 18, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    He’s just trying to make the best of a bad situation, maybe?

    WASHINGTON,  June 15 (UPI) –Historians and presidential scholars say they aren’t giving likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain much of a chance of winning the White House.

    Even though polls show the Arizona senator and his probable Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., neck-and-neck at this point, the scholars say McCain, in fact, faces long odds partly because the GOP is at the bottom of a cyclical popularity trough, the Politico.com Web site reported Sunday.

    “This should be an overwhelming Democratic victory,” American University historian Allan Lichtman told the Web site.

    Lichtman, whose forecasting model has correctly predicted the last six presidential elections, added, “Republicans face what have always been insurmountable historical odds.”

    “McCain shouldn’t win it,” presidential historian Joan Hoff said, saying his chances resemble those of Hubert Humphrey in 1968, who lost to Richard Nixon because of the unpopularity of a sitting president of the same party, in Humphrey’s case, Lyndon Johnson.

    And Alan Abramowitz, a presidential scholar at Emory University, told Politico.com that this year represents one of the worst political environments for the incumbent party since World War II.

    “It would be a pretty stunning upset if McCain won,” Abramowitz said.

    You’d have to pay me a hell of a lot to snuggle up to Bush in public like McCain does, too.

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