FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2008
CONTACT: Shrayas Jatkar, 505.459.2718
Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384


Big Oil Rakes In $610 in Profit for Each New Mexico Driver

Obama Offers Plan for Real Relief from Pain at the Pump, Energy Independence;
McCain Receives Over $1 Million from Oil Industry, Proposes More of the Same

Albuquerque, NM – Newly released campaign finance records and John McCain’s misguided and dangerous energy proposals demonstrate that McCain and his allies in Congress are only interested in more of the same: more drilling; more expensive, dirty, and dangerous nuclear power; and more schemes designed to pad Big Oil’s bottom line while denying consumers real relief at the pump. Meanwhile, New Mexico families are suffering as gas prices – and oil company profits – surge to new records.

Big Oil Raking in Record Profits at the Expense of New Mexico Drivers

An analysis of the record-breaking 2007 profits of just the five biggest oil companies—ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips—shows that they made an astonishing $123,300,000,000 last year alone. That works out to approximately $793,000,000 in profits from New Mexico ’s 1.3 million drivers – about $610 for each driver in New Mexico.

“Big Oil has New Mexico consumers over a barrel,” said Shrayas Jatkar, Conservation Organizer. “We literally cannot afford to continue the failed policies of the Bush administration and it seems unlikely that a campaign full of oil industry lobbyists and awash in millions made at the expense of American consumers is going to stand up to Big Oil and deliver the kind of change we need. By contrast, Barack Obama has stood up to special interests and has a plan to help New Mexico get through today’s crisis, while putting us on the path to energy independence in order to rid us of Big Oil’s chokehold once and for all.”

New Campaign Finance Reports Show Big Oil Has Funneled over $5 million to McCain and the Republican Party

Campaign finance reports filed June 30, 2008 and analyzed by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics show that John McCain has received $1,001,668 from the oil and gas industry, while the Republican Party has separately raked in an astonishing $4,002,662. These new reports show that McCain hauled in nearly $210,000 from the industry in the month of June alone – a month in which he flip-flopped on offshore drilling and held numerous fundraisers in Big Oil’s backyard.

“The failed policies of the Bush administration and its allies like John McCain have crippled our economy and now tens of millions of hardworking Americans are suffering,” said Jatkar. “Barack Obama went to Detroit and told the automakers what they needed to hear – that they must make cars that get better gas mileage; John McCain went straight to Houston and told the oil industry what it wanted to hear – that he strongly supported their desire to begin the wholesale, unfettered ‘exploitation’ of our coasts. It’s clear that neither our economy, nor our environment can afford more of the same.”

Lobbying disclosure forms also indicate that at least 23 lobbyists who lobby on behalf of some of the biggest oil companies in the world are involved in John McCain’s campaign.

John McCain v. Barack Obama on Gas Prices and Breaking Big Oil’s Chokehold on America

Obama’s Plan for Real Short-Term Relief v. John McCain’s Gas Tax Gimmick
• Obama wants a second round of stimulus checks for consumers and an additional $1,000 tax cut for working and middle-class families to offer Americans short-term relief from crippling energy prices and the skyrocketing cost of food and other goods. Obama would pay for this tax credit by repealing billions in taxpayer-funded giveaways to Big Oil and by imposing a windfall profits tax on oil companies that fail to invest their excess profits in clean energy. (Source: Bloomberg, 05/01/2008)

• John McCain has proposed a gimmick: a so-called gas tax holiday that would do absolutely nothing to lower prices at the pump, but would pad Big Oil’s bottom line with an extra 18 cents a gallon and potentially bankrupt the highway trust fund at a time when our infrastructure is already crumbling. His misguided plan has been denounced by over 200 leading economists – including 4 Nobel Prize winners. (Source: Bloomberg News, 05/05/2008)

Obama’s Plan for 50 MPG Cars v. John McCain’s $300 Million Giveaway Gimmick
• Obama knows that the long-term solution to high gas prices is making sure we have cars that get better gas mileage. He fought hard to pass the first increase in fuel economy in more than 30 years. Now he wants to go further and give the automakers the tools they need to double fuel economy to 50 miles per gallon. (Source: www.barackobama.com/issues/energy)

• John McCain didn’t even bother to show up for any votes on last year’s landmark fuel economy/energy bill. And he has had a spotty record on the issue in the past. Instead of providing the real leadership we need right now and putting forth a real plan, McCain proposed a $300 million gimmicky giveaway to grab headlines. (Sources: Washington Post, 05/13/2008; New York Times, 05/12/2008; 2007 Senates Votes #208, #225, #226, #416, #425, #430; Detroit Free Press, 07/09/2008)

Obama’s Plan on Speculators v. McCain’s Empty Rhetoric
• Obama knows that Wall Street speculators are gaming the system and running up the price of oil at the expense of hardworking American consumers. He supports the Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008 (S.3044), which would crack down on speculators and put in place other measures to protect consumers, make sure oil companies are paying their fair share on their record profits, and encourage the development of renewable energy. (Source: Associated Press, 06/10/2008)

• John McCain says he wants to take on speculators, but has refused to support the Consumer-First Act. One of the biggest loopholes exploited by speculators – the so-called “Enron Loophole” – was put into law by one of McCain’s closest campaign advisers, former Senator Phil Gramm, who also blocked efforts to close the loophole in 2002. (Sources: Associated Press, 06/10/2008; Dallas Morning News, 06/29/2008)

Obama’s Plan to Make Big Oil Pay Its Fair Share v. McCain’s Texas-Sized Tax Cut for Big Oil
• Obama wants to end the billions in subsidies and giveaways that that oil industry receives each year – at taxpayer expense. He also wants to make sure Big Oil is paying its fair share on its tens of billions in record profits. He would impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies that fail to invest their excess profits in the clean energy technologies we need to end our addiction to oil and fight global warming. (Source: Reuters, 06/09/2008)

• John McCain has mocked Obama over his proposal for a windfall profits tax – even though McCain himself said he was open to the idea just two months ago. Meanwhile, he has proposed a tax plan that would offer a $3.8 BILLION tax cut to the five largest American oil companies alone. This plan would cost a stunning $1.7 trillion overall and put any hope of balancing the budget well out of reach. (Sources: New York Times, 06/17/2008; Grist, 05/16/2008; Center for American Progress Action, 05/27/2008, http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2008/pdf/oil_tax.pdf)

Offshore Drilling Reality v. Rhetoric
• John McCain flip-flopped on offshore drilling and gave the oil industry exactly what it’s wanted for 30 years. (Source: Politico, 06/18/2008)

• McCain claims that the Bush-McCain drilling plan would offer Americans “psychological” relief. (Source: ABC News, 06/24/2008)

• Even the Bush Administration admits that drilling offshore won’t do anything to lower gas prices today, tomorrow, or even a decade from now. (Source: Energy Information Administration)

• Oil companies currently hold leases on 41,000,000 acres offshore, but a mere 8,123,000 of those acres are actually in production. (Source: House Natural Resources Committee)

• More than 80 percent of the total oil available offshore is in areas that are already open to leasing. (Source: House Natural Resources Committee)


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Some of us are capable of looking past naked self interest long enough to notice that Bush's reckless deficit spending has destroyed the value of the US dollar which has in turn lead to most of our current economic troubles. Its not as if Bush cut taxes and concurrently cut spending. He cut taxes while increasing spending by the highest percentage in history.
This is a rather simplistic analysis D. Michael. Building individual and community economic prosperity is comprised of a myriad of factors, not just the tax dollars paid/not paid to the US government.

As far as voting against presumed self-interest, Americans have been doing that for years: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What's_the_Matter_with_Kansas
The rich are getting richer- that's why their taxes make up more of the total.

What does this have to do with Albuquerque?
The article has nothing to do with Abq, which is why I haven't responded previously. This should be moved to off-topic.
The original article is a piece of a campaign organized by the Sierra Club and the LCV on behalf of the Obama campaign to smear McCain's record of pro-conservation votes and prop up Obama's campaign promises.

Then typically, the discussion took a few tangents and well...comedy ensues.

Good point. Subsidies to oil companies MUST end. Subsidies to most industries should be ended. Taxpayers should not foot the bill for these corporations.
Of course you wouldn't vote for change. The U.S. has installed and/or propped up nearly every dictator we call 'terrorist' now. Saddam and Osama were OUR guys, remember?
Very true. We need to stop nation/dictator building.

Unfortunately, the change you speak of is Socialism. That is not acceptable and not affordable. The only benefit to Obama winning is that the Clintons will never get back to the White House.

The reality is that both primaries were civil wars of sorts. The Dem's chose honesty and integrity over the Clintons. The GOP choose moderation over the neo-con and christian right agenda.

I had hoped that this election would restore some civility to the debate, but it is quite clear that this will not happen. The left is so full of hate for this president, this administration, republicans and at times themselves, that this election could be the most polarizing to date.
No I'm not. And you claiming that everything that doesn't bow to monopolism equals socialism shows that YOU aren't willing to be civil. When multinational oil cartels drive foreign policy, we have long left capitalism behind. You could level the S-bomb if the government were going to take over the oil companies and run them for people (while distributing their revenues). Regulation is quite a bit farther down the continuum.

The right hates this president as well, because the conservative mantras of deregulation, militarization, and lower taxes for the rich got us into this fiscal crisis. "Laissez-faire" (a.k.a cronyism) at its best.

Nope, W is McCain's and the GOP's problem.
Compared to what the 527's are going to do the candidates, you and I are having a very civil debate. I should have said the 'change Obama speaks of' and not 'you speak of'.

As for the rest of this post, ????
Thanks to everyone for engaging in a discussion around such an important issue as our energy future. I want to reply to a few of the comments. Believe it or not, I agree that our government should NOT mandate that the private sector move in a particular business direction (e.g., produce more fuel efficient vehicles). Here's the catch: unless the government is willing and able to assist the private sector comply with its mandate. In the case of fuel efficiency standards, the technology exists to make vehicles go about 40 miles per gallon. If we mandate that auto manufacturers achieve such standards in their fleets, then we ought to make it affordable for such companies to apply that technology to their production. Similarly, municipal governments that claim to value sustainability and encourage its residents to recycle ought to provide the means for people to do so.
Another comment that I'd like to address is that we need a competent national leader in order to move forward with renewable energy generation on a large scale. I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly, and would like to add that governors (including Gov Richardson), mayors, and other local elected leaders have decided to take action themselves. Many states, counties, and cities have their own mandates for renewable energy production and consumption. We need a national Renewable Electricity Standard for sure, but we cannot afford to wait for action at the federal level. This "act now, act locally" message is central to the Sierra Club's Cool Cities campaigns around the country which are working with the public and city governments to ensure that we're all doing our part to solve global warming while building a clean energy future. We're always in need of more volunteers in order to build grassroots power and accomplish more.

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