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:

• 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,

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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All I can say is look at the shape the country was in 8 years ago when Clinton left office and where we are now. I am amazed that George W. could destroy a country in 8 years. More amazing to me is that anyone would consider putting a W. Junior in office for the next 4 years. I don't get it.

His administration is concerned with making this country safe - in a few years this country will be owned by the middle eastern countries and others as they are buying land and corporations here because their dollar is doing so well against ours - good job!! I feel safer already.
Look at the shape this country is in? When Bill Clinton left office my stocks were in a shambles. Its an 8-9 yr cycle and you have to convert stock profits to cash before the next bear market. Thank god I did it this time. My stocks did better with Bush and this time I'm keeping the profit. I wasn't savvy enough when Bubba was in office. How quickly we forget where tech and the economy went in 2000 before the election. Doug, I'd vote for you in a minute. You sound like you've got some common sense.
Monahan is reporting that the Governor may push for rebate checks to NM residents.
Some of the comments on this thread are coming close to flaming. Our moderators try to delete as few comments as possible to keep DCF discussions open and interesting. When a discussion starts escalating in the way this one has, it means that we have to delete more comments, which we don't like to do. Comments like:

‘How about some sources for you drivel?’


‘Keep drinkin that leftest koolaid.’

are examples of flaming (notice I picked one from each side of the party line?) and, going forward, will be deleted regardless of how innocuous or informative the rest of the comment is, don't make us do it! . See our moderation policy for further information.
nice to know that poor spelling is covered equally by both parties.
You're going to have a lot of work to do between now and Nov. This was playful banter compared to what is likely to follow. :)
Check this out.

Message: COL. 26 JUNE 2008 LAREDOS

But on to another tragedy--the oil situation worldwide. In a chat room where I visit with friends I posted the fact that the driver of an 18-wheeler is now spending over $1300 for one fill-up of diesel. I figure the domino effect takes over, affecting the price of all the products that are transported so we may buy them and wear them and/or eat them. And so, terrific friend and ex-Laredoan now of Houston James Pappas pitched in his expert opinion. Btw, James is the Global Tech Co-ordinator for devon Energy Corp., as well as the Production and Operations Director for the Society of Petroluem Engineers Int'l. Recently he was selected as the 2008 Texas Engineer of the Year by the Texas State professional engineers.

Writes James as to the "why" of the oil situation: Speculators do seem to be adding to the real price of crude and fuel, primarily because of spot shortages in light crude, which lowers the efficiency of refineries that produce fuels from that type of crude.
Please heed my advice--natural gas prices aren't looking too "bueno" either. It was in 1989 when I spoke to the Laredo Kiwanis where I stated flat out that prices were too low, investment was non-existent, and I stated it was time to open up other areas for exploration, rethink nuclear energy, and start on a national program to build on alternative energy ideas, which required Federal government leadership and incentives due to the low prices. Friend Matt Simmons wrote in several books where he speculate that the Middle East is running short on oil and agrees with King's Peak Oil theory, developed in the 1950's, and speculators are eating all of this up because there may be some truth in the theory. However, high tech seems to pull us out of binds, at least partially. Unconventional fuels are making up more of the feedstocks and they've seen an unprecedented rise in importance. But what is the public to do? Congress will not budge. All they want is a scapegoat. In that circus in Washington, they are accusing my boss and others in my industry of somehow manipulating prices. Hogwash! I know several of these gentlemen, major forces in our industry, and they are top-notch people, compassionate, caring, hard-working, and worried about what our government might do to their companies and they are worried about what our government might do to their companies. But they worry even more about the road the American public has been led astray on.

James concludes: The public needs to know the facts, not the heresay. Maybe then they can make up their minds. I believe we need to organize and march on our Capitol and demand that Congress forge a comprehensive energy plan, doing whatever it takes to get us out of this bind. We need energy to survive and progress as a society and as human beings. Open up all areas to exploration. Ensure that small footprints are made, that regulations are strictly adhered to, but free us to look for petroleum and do what we're trained to do. That alone will turn the speculators south. It'll make a dent, but it won't solve the problem. We need to demand that government support, not inhibit, research and technology development in other fuels: wind, clean coal, solar, gas hydrate, nuclear, etc.

James concludes that we need to demand that restrictions on building new nuclear plants be logical, and for the good of the country, not any one state. In short, we NEED strong, intelligent leadership. There's a great paper written by energy industry tech experts that outlines a logical, step-wise plan forward, sponsored by our Federal government. Why is it not being used? Anyone interested should read the Executive Summary called "Hard Truths: Facing the Hard Truths about Energy" (
This country loves to hate oil companies, at least when the price is up.
I doubt most people want, or will ever fully appreciate the facts with regard to energy policy in this country, and McCain and Obama are classic examples of why this wont happen.

The latest charade in Washington was waltzing the CEO's of a handful of the big oil companies (interestingly enough they were not all American companies) before hearings where politicians took turns brow beating them for all manner of ills (making money etc..). What almost makes me ill... is how well the media and the American public bought this.. hook, line and sinker. Not once did I read commentary anywhere pointing out that many of these same politicians had been around since the embargos and long gas lines of the 70's and 80's, and should have foreseen this problem DECADES ago. Yet up until the very recently the folks in Washington were concerned with whether or not Roger Clemens (baseball player) was or was not using steroids to continue to make hundreds of millions of dollars well into his 40's ( ????). Only when things REALLY got out of hand (price of oil) did they shove Roger out and drag in the oil CEO's. (Which sort of makes you wonder if Roger Clemons didn't somehow orchestrate the price of oil just to take the heat off him..hehe).

No.. the public will never appreciate all the truth, because the truth is, our politicians have failed us in a really horrific way when it comes to a national energy policy and those same politicians are quite bent on making sure we believe all the ills of todays problems are due to big oil.


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